Sunday, August 5, 2012

I Must Be Severely Out of Sync

But the "best movie of 2012" leaves me cold...

Beasts of the Southern Wild is regarded by the Sundance crowd and many, many others, even Roger Ebert, as some as some sort of masterpiece.  It certainly has its clever, quirky moments and visually striking scenes. At its center is a charming and spirited performance by five year old Quvenzhan√© Wallis , who plays Hushpuppy, the protagonist through whose eyes we view life in The Bathtub, a dysfunctional community of raw characters living in a rude collection of shacks somewhere in the bayou outside The Levee.

In order to create this masterwork director Benh Zeitlin and co-writer Luci Alibar expose  Hushpuppy and other children of The Bathtub (and the actors who played them) to all manner of jeopardy, ignorance, poverty, parental neglect, eating off the floor, beer-swilling, rum-chugging, child abandonment, meals of dog food, burning houses, verbal abuse, family violence, a hurricane, storm surge, forced evacuation, life in an emergency shelter, rotting carcasses, splattered blood, a brothel, and a herd of pigs made up as giant, carnivorous (?!!) aurochs.  I suppose it must be some sort of high-minded allegory, but I’m not feeling it.  As Hushpuppy tells the audience in a quieter moment,

Sometimes you can break something so bad, that it can't get put back together.


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