some of my favorites focusing in depth on female characters
Beasts of the Southern Wild
I gotta take care of mine.
Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in “the Bathtub,” a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack—temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink’s health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Hey girl. Sorry you're too young and too small to do anything about global warming, your poverty, your father's horrendous parenting style, your missing mom, your terrible schooling, your community's penchant for alcoholism and general unwindulaxing, and being inculcated with values that emphasize the masculine ("beast it") to the detriment of the feminine ("don't be a pussy"). Oh yeah, and your father dying.
But hey! You stood up to some imaginary monster pigs, so good for you.
Beasts of the Southern Wild sucker punched me while I had my guard down. I knew next to nothing about it, but I wasn't really ready for this fable-like slice of magical realism.
The simplest stories are often the most interesting. This one's unique protagonist describes it best herself: 'Future scientists will know, there was a girl named Hushpuppy who lived with her father in the Bathtub.' That phrase will carry an emotional depth with it as well as a deeper meaning after you've watched this film.
This is a film about life, about being firmly rooted in the world and the place you live, about family and the self-evident strength of the…
Being the darling of the Sundance film festival can often be more of a curse than a blessing. Beasts of the Southern Wild arrives on a tidal wave of gushing critical praise, and the occasional criticism of its fetishization of the poor, but I was left a little nonplussed by the whole affair. It’s a hard film to describe - it’s part plaintive magical realism and part apocalyptic fable. A Cajun coming-of-age yarn about a six-year-old girl, Hushpuppy, living with her ill father in the flood threatened bayou surrounded by broad and colourful characters who have slipped through the cracks and formed their own ramshackle community ignored and forgotten by the rest of the world.
As a first feature, director…
Lots of crying.
I've watched this like eighteen times over the past four years.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is an adventure that is, at once, grimy and colorful, celebratory and heartbreaking, and concrete and metaphorical. Filling similar cinematic space as 2011's "Tree of Life," the film is both a straight ahead tale of life and survival and a nearly poetic, theme-rich think-piece. Its cinematography is grainy and vibrant; its performances, especially the revelatory Quvenzhané Wallis, are authentic and bold.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a rich, layered experience. Although not for everyone, the memorable and moving film is worthy of praise and discussion.
loved the lead role, people should see how we're living
A fairy tale aimed best at young adults, Beasts of the Southern Wild utilizes two strong lead performances (Quvenzhane Wallis may be close to a household name, but Dwight Henry is as much a revelation) and well-managed 16mm photography to create something that does feel outside the norm of American cinema. I felt some of what people complain about with this movie, that it has the emotional subtlety of a large explosion and that its portrayal of southern blackness comes across as regressive. I wish I thought the movie were more nuanced than those criticisms, but this third viewing a few years later left me with no sense of wonder or mystery apart from that poster-making fireworks shot.
I'll admit I fell asleep rewatching Beasts of the Southern Wild, but morning has come and I don't feel strongly that I want to return to Bathtub and Hushpuppy right now. I've had enough to last me some time.
Tonally, BEASTS is magnificent, and you'd be hard-pressed to find another film with an equal assurance of specificity, both in terms of character, setting and symbolism. Quvenzhané Wallis is a shining beacon of light and I kind of hope she quits making films so that a) the industry doesn't warp the humanity and warmth out of her and b) this can remain her definitive, iconic performance for time immemorial.
Thing is, I can't remember a whole lot of what happens in the movie. While shapeless things can often be as interesting as (and certainly more malleable than) those with neat construction, most of the time I need a spine for the meat to hang on. *Apologies for the suddenly gross metaphor*
Those Aurochs tho.
What a beautifully crafted film. Quvenzhané Wallis is the best 9-year-old actor I've ever seen.
A fairytale drowning in a bevy of harsh realities that somehow retains whimsy and wonder. My art brain wants to show it to my daughter yet my dad brain knows I shouldn't, but as it contains my new favorite fuck-up dad/independent daughter two-hander, this could go either way...
mostly bullshit but works really well when it dials down the cloyingly twee score and magical realism aspects to focus on the father/daughter dynamic. some genuinely affecting moments cloistered in sundancebait
I was really not expecting this to make me cry but dear lord did I weep ! i don't even know where to begin because I'm so shaken ?
Who ever wrote this, has to have vivid memory of what it is like to be a child. The story is very very hard, these people live in the worse of conditions and yet it gives you a strong sense that this is the way it's supposed to be. This film has the best of values. It also manages to bring fantastic creatures and events into this very real situation and I didn't doubt it for a second.
"But when it all goes quiet, I see they are right here. I see that I'm a little piece of a big, big universe."
Movies that are slightly off.
Movies about/starring women. I originally started this list just as a reference for myself, but hopefully others will find it…