Beasts of the Southern Wild

This magical realist tale of a young girl’s hardscrabble life on the Louisiana levees is irredeemably sentimental and hokey

Benh Zeitlin, 2012

Yes, it was a hit at Cannes and Sundance. And yes, it stars real, non-Hollywood people – notably Quvenzhané Wallis, now a nine-year-old contender for the best actress Oscar. But you have to have a high tolerance for the notion that poverty = soul = wisdom (especially when delivered in a Deep South child’s voice). Otherwise you may find this magical realist tale of a young girl’s holism-tinged hardscrabble life on the wrong side of the Louisiana levees irredeemably sentimental and hokey.

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