Oscar Preview: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a heartwarming tale of a little girl about to be orphaned by her dying father.  The film, directed by Benh Zeitlin, is told in an in-the-moment documentary style, which produced an interesting mix of realism and fantasy.  The film depicts the harshness of their situation, but also the slightly offbeat outlook of a highly imaginative child, as most of the film is told through her point of view.  Quvenzhané Wallis is absolutely adorable as Hushpuppy, and at times, one would even say she was fierce.  The mystic aurochs come to life in her imagination, as the melting icecaps bring the oncoming flood and the ferocious beasts to the bayou community.  With the perceptiveness of a six-year-old child, she grasps that something is wrong and fears the approach of the wild aurochs as she fears her father’s illness.  She in time learns to face her demons head on.

The movie is all at once charming and funny, passionate and heartbreaking to watch people so determined to remain in their homes, despite the levis that keep them out and the officers that order them to higher ground.  It is easy to see why this was released over the summer; it captures the essence of Independence Day and freedom.  Beasts of the Southern Wild certainly deserves the Oscar nomination it received, but the question is, will it win?  Beasts is not the type of movie that typically wins the Oscars, and stacked up against such formidable pictures time can only tell who will win.