Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild

4.1 8
Director: Benh Zeitlin

Cast: Benh Zeitlin, Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Lowell Landes


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A six-year-old girl from the southern Delta searches for her long-lost mother after her father falls ill and her world spins out of balance in the film from director Benh Zeitlin that took home the Grand Jury Prize and Best Cinematography award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. A harsh but loving father, Wink swore that his beloved…  See more details below


A six-year-old girl from the southern Delta searches for her long-lost mother after her father falls ill and her world spins out of balance in the film from director Benh Zeitlin that took home the Grand Jury Prize and Best Cinematography award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. A harsh but loving father, Wink swore that his beloved daughter Hushpuppy would be prepared for the day he was no longer able to look after her. Little did Wink realize that day would come sooner than anyone suspected, and when illness strikes him down, nature runs amuck. As the soaring temperatures melt ice caps and the sea levels swell, a race of prehistoric beasts named the aurochs emerge to reclaim the planet. Meanwhile, as the apocalypse unfolds, determined Hushpuppy bravely sets out on a mission to locate the mother she's never known.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Some movie lovers value the familiar -- they want to see stories and images that are more or less recognizable, but given a stamp of originality in some way. Others place a premium on uniqueness -- they want to see something they've never seen before. Benh Zeitlin's debut feature Beasts of the Southern Wild will appeal greatly to the latter crowd. Any attempt to explain the plot of this striking picture will make it sound more conventional than it actually is, but the film stars Quvenzhané Wallis -- a first-time actress who was five when she landed the part and six during production -- as Hushpuppy, a poor girl living in huts with her father Wink (Dwight Henry, another first-time actor) as part of a close-knit, ramshackle community in Louisiana called the Bathtub. Wink tries to teach Hushpuppy the skills she'll need to survive if something happens to him, and soon enough, an illness strikes him that will force the six-year-old to grow up quickly. At the same time, her coming-of-age story is symbolized by her need to fight against wild creatures that have seemingly been unleashed by her father's health issues. Beasts of the Southern Wild isn't a film that can be easily described. From the poetic voice-overs delivered with a plainspoken authority by the lead actress to the lush cinematography of this hurricane-ravaged community to the collision between ethereal fantasy and real-world hardship, the movie forges its own path and wants nothing more than for you to discover this scary, alluring place just as our young hero does. Director Benh Zeitlin workshopped this film at the renowned Sundance Lab, which also helped bring such memorable debuts as Paul Thomas Anderson's Hard Eight and Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs to fruition. The influence of that program is fairly obvious in certain ways; like many Sundance films, Beasts shows us a little-seen subculture in America and tells the story of the people who live there utilizing local folk traditions. However, Zeitlin abandons any attempt to force this material into preconceived notions of what a story should or shouldn't be. He's forgoing a familiar structure in order to get at something more elemental -- he wants to trigger our childhood anxieties and wonder about the world, spotlight a community that has suffered much to be who they are, and leave us with the knowledge that we are strong enough to overcome even unknowable fear. Because feel and tone matter so much more than plot, the movie does have a certain lack of narrative drive. Individual sequences provide dramatic conflict, but there isn't a compelling straightforward goal that pushes us along. Although it's certainly a fairy tale, this is not some quick and easy Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen fable. That's going to be a problem for anyone who isn't caught up in the wholly original vision of the piece, but in his willingness to ignore convention, Zeitlin does reveal a confidence that few first-time directors display. He's made a film that's the antithesis of Hollywood's summer mind-set, and if that sounds like what you've been waiting for, Beasts of the Southern Wild may stick with you for longer than you expect.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Fox Searchlight
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Disc 1:; Beasts of the Southern Wild in high definition; The making of Beasts of the Southern Wild; Deleted scenes with commentary by director Benh Zeitlin; Auditions; Music featurette; The Aurochs featurette; Glory at Sea - original short film; ; Disc 2:; Beasts of the Southern Wild in standard definition; Beasts of the Southern Wild for portable media players

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Quvenzhané Wallis Hushpuppy
Dwight Henry Wink
Lowell Landes Walrus
Levy Easterly Jean-Battiste
Pamela Harper Little Jo
Gina Montana Miss Bathsheba
Amber Henry LZA
Jonshel Alexander Joy Strong
Nicholas Clark Boy with Bell
Joseph Brown Winston
Henry D. Coleman Peter T
Kaliana Brower T-Lou
Philip Lawrence Dr. Maloney
Hannah Holby Open Arms Babysitter
Jimmy Lee Moore Sgt. Major
Jovan Hathaway The Cook
Kendra Harris Baby Hushpuppy

Technical Credits
Benh Zeitlin Director,Score Composer,Screenwriter
Lucy Alibar Screenwriter
Steve Boeddeker Sound/Sound Designer
Chris Carroll Co-producer
Casey Coleman Associate Producer
Alex Digerlando Production Designer
Crockett Doob Editor
Philipp Engelhorn Executive Producer
Annie Evelyn Associate Producer
Affonso Goncalves Editor
Michael Gottwald Producer
Nathan Harrison Associate Producer
E.J. Holowicki Sound/Sound Designer
Dan Janvey Producer
Stephani Lewis Costumes/Costume Designer
Dawn Masi Art Director
Paul S. Mezey Executive Producer
Matthew Parker Co-producer
Josh Penn Producer
Michael Raisler Executive Producer
Ben Richardson Cinematographer
Dan Romer Score Composer
Carlos Savant Makeup
John Williams Associate Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Beasts of the Southern Wild
1. Scene 1 [4:02]
2. Scene 2 [4:11]
3. Scene 3 [4:24]
4. Scene 4 [3:35]
5. Scene 5 [3:41]
6. Scene 6 [4:05]
7. Scene 7 [3:45]
8. Scene 8 [2:46]
9. Scene 9 [3:13]
10. Scene 10 [4:13]
11. Scene 11 [5:24]
12. Scene 12 [2:56]
13. Scene 13 [4:36]
14. Scene 14 [2:36]
15. Scene 15 [6:24]
16. Scene 16 [1:55]
17. Scene 17 [4:27]
18. Scene 18 [2:51]
19. Scene 19 [4:15]
20. Scene 20 [6:21]
21. Scene 21 [2:50]
22. Scene 22 [2:52]
23. Scene 23 [2:15]
24. Scene 24 [5:26]


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Beasts of the Southern Wild 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding! Quvenzhane Wallis plays Hushpuppy in a smashing performance, despite being a newcomer and only six years old when making the movie. She is a child searching for her lost mother as she lives with her tough father who is teaching her how to survive without him. It is a tale of a hurricane's impact on the poor and destitute, with some similarities to Katrina, but these people are not down and out victims. They are tough and resilient, having survived living on the fringes of modern society. The movie gives us a look inside the very different lifestyle of Louisiana bayou culture through both frighteningly realistic scenes and haunting mythology. Beautifully filmed, it does not preach, yet there are lessons here for our society and despite the subject matter, it is ultimately uplifting, even funny in places. Not to be missed!
footballmom More than 1 year ago
WOW. See this film. I saw it two days ago and I'm still thinking about all the things here that there are to digest. I could write a book about each part, but the one thing that really struck me about this film was the performance by Quvenzhane Wallis. She is a six year old living in crushing poverty, abandoned by her mother and on the brink of losing her father, who manages somehow to be utterly gorgeous and compelling. She is tough and fierce, and yet so vulnerable. She lives among people who are just like her, until a hurricane forces them all to deal with not only the storm's devistation, but also the unwanted, albeit well-intentioned interference from those who live outside "The Bathtub." This film completely deserves its Best Picture Academy Award nomination
Nessarose More than 1 year ago
Amazing!  End of story.  For anyone who knows what it's like first hand to deal with a major natural tragedy (ie hurricanes, tornadoes etc).  It shows that you don't have to be a A-list high profiled actor to show amazing acting abilities.  Wish more actors were discovered the way in which this cast was found!
fiorentina More than 1 year ago
A wildly beautiful and creative movie that portrays a bayou neighborhood's desperate survival to live on its own terms in the wake of a massive hurricane.  The voice of the bayou is a small child with a very old and wise spirit whose imagination (semblances of Where  the Wild Things Are) helps her to overcome tremendous fear, sadness and loneliness when facing her father's illness and the neighborhood's dire straits.  This movie, along with this season's Moonrise Kingdom, is special enough to have a definite chance - tho certainly a long shot - at an Oscar.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best movie I have seen in years.
nolagras More than 1 year ago
If there were 10 or 15 stars, I'd give them to this movie. There are more layers of meaning than I can count; the child who played Hushpuppy should have won an Academy Award. Period. I've read some reviews that decry the use of handheld camera--calling it choppy, awkward--I didn't remember that at all. Too involved in what was happening onscreen. BEAUTIFUL. Please rent or buy it if you haven't seen it, already. If you've seen it once, you'll probably want to see it again. And again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good morning would need to tell me if this movie has subtitles in Spanish or if it is dubbed into Spanish. Many thanks Sincerely Clauret P.
punani More than 1 year ago
Terrible. The little girl playing Hushpuppy is certainly talented, and I hope she gets future roles in quality films, but this one is not it. A confusing mess, scripted by Brooklyn hipsters about their idea of a post Katrina Louisiana, the movie consists largely of dirty drunk people rolling around in piles of garbage. I have no idea of what the intended message is - apparently that bayou people are ignorant, grubby, and alcoholic but noble savages.