Sundance hit 'Beasts' winning raves at Cannes
Published: May 21, 2012 12:38PM
Updated: May 21, 2012 12:38PM
Director Benh Zeitlin, left and actors Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry pose during a photo call for Beasts of the Southern Wild at the 65th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

The movie that won hearts at Sundance is wowing everyone at Cannes.

Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival, has received rave notices and standing ovations at the Cannes Film Festival.

USA Today quoted Dwight Henry, the New Orleans bakery and restaurant owner who made his acting debut in the film: "I heard a lot about the French audience. People tell me how tough they are. They will boo you, heckle you. It was worrying me a little bit. But when the movie ended, man that response. ... I had to catch myself from losing it a little. I was overjoyed with joy. Too much joy can kill."

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a highlight of Cannes' "Un Certain Regard" program, a sidebar to the main competition. That's too bad, wrote Time's Richard Corliss, who noted that the film "was deprived of its deserved shot at the Palme d'Or. But there is life after Cannes."

Indeed. Fox Searchlight picked up "Beasts of the Southern Wild" at Sundance, and plans a summer rollout. (It's tentatively scheduled to open in Salt Lake City on July 20.)