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DVD review: Homemade feel gives 'Beasts' enormous power

Published December 4, 2012 2:20 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Grade • A

It's been obvious to anyone who has seen "Beasts of the Southern Wild" — starting with its premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it earned standing ovations and the Grand Jury Prize — that this was a one-of-a-kind movie.

Director Benh Zeitlin offers a fascinating look inside The Bathtub, a fictional Louisiana Delta community set apart from the "dry world," which centers on a little girl named Hushpuppy (played by newcomer Quvenzhane Wallis, an amazing find) who thinks about the universe and her tiny but important place in it. Hushpuppy lives with her daddy (Dwight Henry), a tough bird who raises his girl harshly so she can deal with life when he's gone.

Zeitlin's do-it-yourself filmmmaking style, with non-actors and a ramshackle sensibility, captures the atmosphere of The Bathtub and the spirit of its hardscrabble citizens.

DVD extras include a making-of featurette, and (on the BluRay) Wallis' and Henry's audition tapes. —

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