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Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

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Faced with both her hot-tempered father's fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 92 wins & 123 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lowell Landes ...
Pamela Harper ...
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Amber Henry ...
LZA
Jonshel Alexander ...
Nicholas Clark ...
Joseph Brown ...
Henry D. Coleman ...
Peter T
Kaliana Brower ...
T-Lou
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Dr. Maloney
Hannah Holby ...
Open Arms Babysitter
Jimmy Lee Moore ...
Sgt. Major
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Storyline

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. Written by Sundance Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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¡Sin duda la mejor película del año! [MX] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material including child imperilment, some disturbing images, language and brief sensuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

5 July 2012 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Bestias del sur salvaje  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$169,702 (USA) (1 July 2012)

Gross:

$12,795,746 (USA)
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Company Credits

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Beasts" was truly a collaboration of director Benh Zeitlin 's circle of family and friends. He was assisted on set by his sister, artist Eliza Zeitlin, and the movie was co-produced by fellow Wesleyan grads Michael Gottwald and Dan Janvey. Zeitlin's hometown neighbor from Westchester county, NY, Crockett Doob--son of filmmaker Nick Doob--contributed as the movie's editor and longtime New York City-area friend Dan Romer co-wrote the music with Zeitlin. See more »

Goofs

During the height of the hurricane scene, Wink challenges the storm, with his rifle, as a means of comforting Hushpuppy and alleviating her fears. While he is outside in the hurricane winds and rain, only the trees in his immediate vicinity are violently moving. Trees in the background (perhaps beyond the reach of a wind fan) are perfectly still. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Hushpuppy: All the time, everywhere, everything's hearts are beating and squirting, and talking to each other the ways I can't understand. Most of the time they probably be saying: I'm hungry, or I gotta poop.
[listening to bird's heartbeat]
Hushpuppy: But sometimes they be talkin' in codes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 86th Annual Academy Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Jole Blon
Performed by Harry Choates
Written by Buddy Dee
Courtesy of D Records
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User Reviews

 
"When it all goes quiet behind my eyes, I see everything that made me flying around in invisible pieces."
28 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What can I say about Beasts of the Southern Wild, that hasn't already been said. It's the most magical and imaginative film of the year, so far. In Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, the wild things are in a place known as the Bathtub, a remote stretch of the Louisiana bayou profoundly cut off from the rest of modern civilization. Beasts of Southern Wild is an unique vision that sweeps viewers away with energy, attitude and a full, vibrant, sense of life. Containing outstanding performances, great cinematography, and a fantastic score, the film is just so engrossing.

Hushpuppy feels her connection not only to nature and animals, but also to the prehistoric era, represented throughout the film by her interest in cave drawings and—more fancifully—prehistoric beasts called aurochs that have been released from the ice caps and make their way toward the Bathtub…at least in Hushpuppy's mind. The difference between what's real and what lives in the imagination of our six-year-old heroine is not always clear, but it's all delivered with a beautifully assured sense of wonder.

Beasts of the Southern Wild unfolds through Hushpuppy's eyes, and it's a sight to behold: sometimes wondrous, often disordered and dysfunctional. It's hard not to see the film through a political lens even if you're apolitical. But there's no stridency here: Fantastical moments and a fantastic script manage to juggle so much with grace. As Hushpuppy says, "The entire world depends on everything fitting together just right." But her world is one where wealth and squalor co-exist all too easily, the discrepancy painfully obvious (even though we don't really see the other world), the puzzle pieces not equal in weight or importance. Yet the hardscrabble people of Bathtub still find a way to channel their joy, even though they've been forgotten.

It's all the more impressive that such a confident and resourceful film comes from a first-timer; writer-director Benh Zeitlin previously impressed Sundance audiences with the Hurricane Katrina inspired short "Glory at Sea." He collaborated on the screenplay for "Beasts" with Lucy Alibar and worked with a cast and crew of mostly non-professionals (both Wallis and Henry make genuinely astonishing screen debuts). That freshness may very well be key to the film's creative success. There's a feeling of genuine enthusiasm and ingenuity in their work here, as if everyone involved was truly discovering the power and potential of filmmaking for the first time.


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