Stuff that inspires me: #4 Beasts of the Southern Wild

At the start of this week I went for a job interview. The final question put to me wasn’t exactly what I was expecting: what was the best film I’d seen in the last year? I didn’t pause; I didn’t have to think; it was an easy choice. Beasts of the Southern Wild is actually the best film I’ve seen in a few years.

Miraculous and magical are the words that most readily come to mind. I’m guilty of over-using the phrase ‘like poetry on the screen’ for movies that I love but, in this case, I think it’s absolutely justified.

The setting is the fictional community of The Bathtub, which is clearly a hall-of-mirrors reflection of the population that lived on the edge of New Orleans during the floods. It’s a bleak, derelict, backwards corner of society and is home to the tough-as-nails Hushpuppy, who survives in a mystical world that exists largely in her own head, and her dad, Wink. As they struggle to survive, we become as intimate with nature and as confused about the boundaries between reality and fantasy as Hushpuppy – but the film is never anything but brilliant and beautiful. And despite having a dream-like quality, it feels grounded and authentic thanks to it’s stunning novice cast.

Everything comes together here. The soundtrack (by Dan Romer and director, Benh Zeitlin) reflects and drives the film. Whenever I now listen to it, wherever I am, I’m transported to a different place… back to Hushpuppy’s world.

This film is touched by genius and I’d urge everyone to see it.

(Go on, click above for the trailer)


26 thoughts on “Stuff that inspires me: #4 Beasts of the Southern Wild

  1. ksbeth

    as i sat in a small room at a local theater, watching this with others, i was overcome with how beautiful this film was. the woman next to me kept her face partially covered throughout, and behind me a woman softly sobbed throughout the film. every person in this film was an untrained local person, not one actor in the bunch and i sat blown away by the power of this little film. after all the incredible hardships, there was still a glimmer of hope at the end.

  2. Fogs' Movie Reviews

    Yeah, I’d agree, easily one of the best films of last year and completely brilliant film. Very enchanting. Hushpuppy is a memorable heroine, there’s no doubt about it! Great flick, and a good answer to their “surprise” question!

  3. ckckred

    Nice post. I absolutely loved this film and it was one of my favorites of 2012. I got to see it in theaters and it was a spectacle to watch.

  4. The Vern

    This movie was great because it brought me into a world I was not familiar with. The character of Hushpuppy is a great rolemodel not just for kids but adults as well, She never looks at her life as being tragic unlike a lot of people who would think that her and the rest of the people in the Bathtub somehow need help.

    1. beautifulorange Post author

      That’s so true – this world is as alien as a planet in a sci-fi movie and Hushpuppy is an amazing creation. Glad to see the film’s getting so much love on here,

  5. Pingback: For You, the FRIGGIN’ AWESOME BLOGGER (FAB) AWARD! Why? Because I Can! | The Arkside of Thought | Poetry, Politics, Philosophy, Life

  6. Tuan Ho

    I was initially very disappointed by it after reading a lot of glowing reviews and the obvious Oscar nominations and that.

    But reflecting on it now, it truly is a ‘beautiful’ film.

    I was really moved by it during those very last scenes.

    Any film that touches my heart will always outshine any technically brilliant but soulless movie.

  7. Mark Walker

    Nice one, man. I had some time on my hands so thought I’d jump by sooner rather than later.
    Superb little film that just hits the right notes. I gave it a full 5 stars myself.

    1. beautifulorange Post author

      Ah thanks, appreciate it. And thanks for stopping by too! I’ve still only seen it the once, at the cinema – didn’t want to ruin it with overkill. But I think it’s probably about time for a second viewing.


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