Could Summer Indie ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ Nab Oscar? - the Daily Beast

So, to give you a jump on the film that gurus of gold will inevitably be discussing and dissecting throughout the Screen Actors Guild awards, the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes and on through to inexorable conclusion at Hollywood and Highland, herewith, The Daily Beast has provided a handy primer on Beasts of the Southern Wild’s primary talking points: The kid stays in the picture:

Appearing in almost every scene in the film and delivering lyrical ruminations on the state of the universe, Wallis is a revelation: a tiny, vulnerable, yet ultimately indomitable sprite in rubber rain boots literally set adrift on a flooded tidal backwater in the aftermath of a Hurricane Katrina-esque natural disaster. If the actress were indeed to go on to garner an Oscar nod, Wallis would topple Justin Henry, co-star of the 1979 divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer, as the youngest person ever nominated for an Academy Award. And if Wallis went on to claim an Academy Award, she would dethrone Tatum O’Neal, who hoisted the golden statuette—and has remained Oscar’s youngest recipient for the past four decades—for her supporting performance in 1973’s Paper Moon.

Read more at the Daily Beast.

Wet and Wild - San Francisco Chronicle

"Regarding Wallis' performance as Hushpuppy: it isn't one. It's a fact. Onscreen she simply is, a being as elemental, incontestable and strong as the advancing aurochs. She was 6 when the film was shot, yet the ferociousness of her presence - the anger and wisdom inside her - suggest someone older or ageless. Meanwhile, Ben Richardson's cinematography traps the heat and brackish scent of the Bathtub air. His handheld camerawork wiggles just enough to suggest an organism: a worm in the mud, a catfish in the water, a girl toddling through the delta in rain boots. The film is its own beast, and it's a rare one." Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Beasts of the Southern Wild -The Prague Post

The plot is almost secondary to the cohesive network of very naturalistic overtones onscreen, though the events are certainly significant. Around the time of a hurricane, which may or may not be Katrina, on a bayou around New Orleans called "The Bathtub," Hushpuppy and Wink do their best to survive the daily turmoil of living in poverty. As Hushpuppy's mother is no longer with them, the girl speaks to her mother's clothes, which seem to speak back in very unsentimental tones.

The film contains one of the most tension-laden hurricane scenes this reviewer has ever seen. Short though it is, the film's hurricane scene, mostly relying on the soundtrack and a constant rush of water from the ceiling of Hushpuppy's and Wink's makeshift shack in the forest, packs a punch and reminds us of the profound effect a strong soundtrack can have on the audience.

Read more at The Prague Post.

Beasts of the Southern Wild - Roger Ebert

You can make "Beasts of the Southern Wild" into an allegory of anything you want. It is far too detailed and specific to fit easily into general terms. The Bathtub is this place in this time, and how can it "stand for" anything else? This film is a remarkable creation, imagining a self-reliant community without the safety nets of the industrialized world. Someday they will run out of gasoline for their outboard motors, and then they will do — well, whatever people did before they needed gasoline.