Beasts of the Southern Wild (PG-13) Beasts of the Southern Wild is a gumbo of melting snow caps, fragile father-daughter relationships, locavorism, Katrina conspiracy theories, and giant prehistoric pigs. Director Benh Zeitlin, making his feature film debut, finds the perfect locale for his celebration of mystical triumph over adversity in the swamps of Louisiana, and it could be argued that the location is the only thing fully realized in this film. Beasts introduces the audience to life in "The Bathtub," a community set on the Isle of Charles Doucet off the coast of Louisiana. The central characters are Wink (Dwight Henry) and his 6-year-old daughter Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis), a family barely scraping by on the chickens they raise in their yard and the catfish they catch in their boat made from a truck bed. Waking up one morning in the house she typically sleeps alone in, Hushpuppy is unable to find her father anywhere. After days of fending for herself, Wink finally stumbles home, obviously having just run away from a hospital. In a fit of rage, Hushpuppy sets the house on fire and runs into town. There, she and Wink discover everyone is evacuating in fear of a storm that's heading straight for them. Along with a handful of other holdouts, the two do their best to ride out the storm and show that nothing can tear them away from the land that they love. From the amateurish acting to the terrible editing, Beasts is an exercise in "don't believe the hype."
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