Beasts of the Southern Wild. Set in a rundown Louisiana bayou cut off from the rest of the world by a levee, the story follow 6-year-old Hushpuppy as she tries to make sense of her life in the rundown Bathtub community. Her mom is no longer in the picture and her ailing father, Wink, has compensated with a tough love that's touching and yet painful to watch at times. Hushpuppy is left to retreat into her imagination while holding fast to what little she understands.
Tiny actress Quvenzhané Wallis is so wonderful to watch (off-screen as well), no wonder she's been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, the youngest one yet. Now you might wonder how much acting a 5-year-old is capable of and if she was just fed her lines and actions bit by bit, but no matter because she just wraps you up with her facial expressions alone. Her interactions with her daddy, played by Dwight Henry, reduced me to tears.
All of that said, on our train ride home, A. turned to me and asked, "Did you understand the movie?" I gave plausible explanations to the plot before I had to admit that no, I didn't entirely get it either. It had moved me and all, but there were some blanks that would be nice to have filled in for some closure. But seeing as the film has already garnered praise and awards and is in the running for Oscars in Best Picture, Best Director, Lead Actress, and Adapted Screenplay, perhaps everyone else has understood something we clearly missed.
Have you watched it yet? Did you get it?