5. Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Trent gave this one a rave review a while back and so did everyone else in the entire universe. Paste, in fact, gave it one of the highest ratings I’ve ever seen on the site (we rarely give 9.0s or better– Beasts got a 9.4), and described it as ‘the best film of 2012.’ The story centers on Hushpuppy (played by young Quvenzhané Wallis), a little girl in a fantastical, almost mythological Louisiana utopia called The Bathtub. Her relationship with her father (played quite well by Dwight Henry) and their fight to survive and thrive in The Bathtub (amidst storms, floods, and other dangers) makes up much of the plot, and although the film was a bit too mysterious for me at times (like, I sooo wanted to learn more about her mother… who we kind of meet… or do we?) I still enjoyed the experience. It’s safe to say that I’ve never seen a story like the one in Beasts, one where a child is being raised to be independent, to be a warrior, to be ‘the man’ (I’ll put aside any feminist critiques for the moment– the film makes it work). And I really liked that Quvenzhané came off, truly, as a little girl. So many times when we see young people in the lead of a movie, they are unbelievably precocious. Hushpuppy was strong and unforgettable, but she was always a child. And that made the story all the more compelling.
Watch Beasts Of The Southern Wild on Amazon Instant Video now!