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Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 American drama film co-written, co-scored, and directed by Benh Zeitlin. It was adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious. After playing at film festivals, it was released on June 27, 2012, in New York and Los Angeles, and later distribution was expanded. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards
Academy Awards
at the 85th Academy Awards, in the categories Best Picture, Best Director (Benh Zeitlin), Best Adapted Screenplay (Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin), and Best Actress (Quvenzhané Wallis). At age 9, Wallis became the youngest Best Actress nominee in history.[3][4]

Contents

1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Setting and location 4 Production 5 Reception 6 Accolades 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Plot[edit] As a storm approaches a southern Louisiana
Louisiana
bayou community called the "Bathtub" (a community cut off from the rest of the world by a levee), six-year-old Hushpuppy and her ailing, hot-tempered father Wink are optimistic about their life and their future. The children in school are being taught by Miss Bathsheba about nature and the release of prehistoric aurochs from the melting ice caps. At home, Hushpuppy fends for herself while her father is missing. When he returns, he is wearing a hospital gown and bracelet. They argue, and when Hushpuppy returns to her house, she deliberately sets it on fire. A chase ensues between the two, and she ends up getting slapped by Wink. When she retaliates by punching him in the chest, Wink collapses. Hushpuppy, realizing the damage she has caused, runs for help only to find her father missing when she returns. Meanwhile, in the Arctic, the frozen aurochs in an ice shelf start drifting into the ocean. Many of the Bathtub residents flee an approaching storm. Wink reappears, staggering along the side of the road; he finds Hushpuppy and takes her home to start barricading before the storm hits. In an effort to make his daughter feel better, Wink attempts to scare off the storm by firing a rifle at the clouds. The next day, the two tour the devastation and connect with surviving residents. The Bathtub residents celebrate the end of the storm and make plans to rebuild their community, but the environment is damaged because the salt water surge from the storm has contaminated the fresh water supply. Wink hatches a plan to drain the water away by destroying the levee. He and a small group of friends plant dynamite and blow a hole in the wall using an alligator gar, and the water recedes. Authorities arrive and enforce a mandatory evacuation order, removing the residents of the Bathtub to an emergency shelter. Wink receives surgery, but it is too late to restore his health. At the first opportunity, the evacuees escape back to their homes. Aware of her father’s condition, Hushpuppy searches for her absent mother. She and her friends swim to a boat, which takes them to a floating bar known as the Elysian Fields. Hushpuppy meets a cook who may be her mother, though the woman doesn't recognize her. The cook says that the girl can stay with her if she wants, but Hushpuppy says she needs to go home. Hushpuppy and her friends return home where she confronts the aurochs. As the aurochs leave, Hushpuppy returns home. She says her last goodbyes to the dying Wink, listening to his last heartbeat. She sets his funeral pyre ablaze, standing together with the remaining residents of the Bathtub. Cast[edit]

Quvenzhané Wallis as Hushpuppy Dwight Henry as Wink Levy Easterly as Jean Battiste Philip Lawrence as Dr. Maloney Gina Montana as Miss Bathsheba Lowell Landes as Walrus Jonshel Alexander as Joy Strong Marilyn Barbarin as Cabaret singer Kaliana Brower as T-Lou Nicholas Clark as Sticks Henry D. Coleman as Peter T

Setting and location[edit] The film's fictional setting, "Isle de Charles Doucet", known to its residents as the Bathtub, was inspired by several isolated and independent fishing communities threatened by erosion, hurricanes and rising sea levels in Louisiana's Terrebonne Parish, most notably the rapidly eroding Isle de Jean Charles. It was filmed in Terrebonne Parish town Montegut.[5] Production[edit] The film was shot on 16mm film, and director Benh Zeitlin
Benh Zeitlin
created the production with a small professional crew and dozens of local residents in and around Montegut, Louisiana. The filmmakers call themselves "Court 13" and are the first credited at the end of the film.[6] At her audition, Quvenzhané Wallis (who was five years old,[7][8] though the casting call had been for girls between six and nine) impressed the filmmakers with her reading ability, tremendous scream and ability to burp on command, all of which are used in the film.[9] Dwight Henry, who plays Wink, was not looking for an acting job and had no acting experience. As he explained in an interview with the San Diego Reader:

Before I was cast in the part I owned a bakery called Henry's Bakery and Deli right across the street from the casting agency where Court 13 had their studio. They used to come over and have lunch or breakfast in the morning. After a few months we kinda developed a relationship. They used to put these fliers in the bakery with a phone number to call if you were interested in appearing in one of their movies.[10]

During a slow hour, he read for the part, and was chosen. But at the time, Henry was in the middle of moving to a larger building (which would become the Buttermilk Drop Bakery and Café, in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans[11][12]), and the filmmakers had trouble finding him. He explained that he could not leave a new business, but they were determined to have him. Henry concluded, "I was in Hurricane Katrina in neck-high water. I have an inside understanding for what this movie is about. I brought a passion to the part that an outside actor who had never seen a storm or been in a flood or faced losing everything couldn't have. … I was two-years-old when Hurricane Betsy hit New Orleans
New Orleans
and my parents had to put me on the roof of the house. An outsider couldn't have brought the passion to the role that I did."[10] Reception[edit] The film has received largely positive critical reviews. According to Metacritic, which assigns aggregate scores from the amount of positive or negative critical reviews of films, Beasts of the Southern Wild has an 86/100 based on 44 critic reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[13] Similarly, Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
reports that the film has received a "Certified Fresh" rating of 86% from 186 reviews (160 positive, 26 negative) with an average score of 8.2/10, with the consensus: " Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantastical, emotionally powerful journey and a strong case of filmmaking that values imagination over money."[14] The film was designated a 2012 "Critics' Pick" by the reviewers of The New York Times. Author and critic A. O. Scott, writing for The New York Times, calls Beasts a

blast of sheer, improbable joy, a boisterous, thrilling action movie with a protagonist who can hold her own... Hushpuppy, the 6-year-old heroine of 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' has a smile to charm fish out of the water and a scowl so fierce it can stop monsters in their tracks. The movie, a passionate and unruly explosion of Americana, directed by Benh Zeitlin, winks at skepticism, laughs at sober analysis and stares down criticism.[15]

Scott subsequently named Beasts of the Southern Wild the third-best film of 2012.[16] Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
called the film a "remarkable creation... Sometimes miraculous films come into being, made by people you've never heard of, starring unknown faces, blindsiding you with creative genius. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is one of the year's best films."[17] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
said that Beasts was "the most divisive film of 2012," opining that "The filmmaker comes from a perspective of great empathy and considerable skill. But he's a pile driver as a dramatist. The film's screw-tightening methods are so overbearing, the story, the characters, the little girl's plight have to struggle to breathe or develop anything like an inner life."[18] Author and activist bell hooks wrote a negative review of the film, saying "the vibrancy in this film is generated by a crude pornography of violence" and calling Hushpuppy "a miniature version of the ‘strong black female matriarch,’ racist and sexist representations have depicted from slavery on into the present day."[19] The performance of newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis has been met with critical acclaim. Amy Biancolli of the San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
says,

Regarding Wallis' performance as Hushpuppy: it isn't one. It's a fact. Onscreen she simply is, a being as elemental, incontestable and strong as the advancing aurochs. She was 6 when the film was shot, yet the ferociousness of her presence – the anger and wisdom inside her – suggest someone older or ageless.[20]

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post
New York Post
says that, upon second viewing,

the best reason to wade into this (let’s be honest) challenging but hugely rewarding film is Quvenzhané Wallis — a 6-year-old with no acting experience at the time of filming — who’s unforgettable as the film’s fierce young protagonist... It’s the effortlessly charismatic Wallis who deserves a Best Actress Oscar nomination.[21]

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
describes Wallis as "flat-out amazement." He adds that "there's no way you won't be captivated by Wallis, chosen ahead of 3,500 candidates to play the tiny folk hero who narrates the story. Her performance in this deceptively small film is a towering achievement." [22] A.O. Scott of The New York Times
The New York Times
describes the character of Hushpuppy, "Played by Quvenzhané Wallis, an untrained sprite who holds the camera’s attention with a charismatic poise that might make grown-up movie stars weep in envy, Hushpuppy is an American original, a rambunctious blend of individualism and fellow feeling." [23] Roger Ebert wrote in his positive review for the Chicago Sun-Times, that Hushpuppy is "played by a force of nature named Quvenzhané Wallis... She is so uniquely and particularly herself that I wonder if the movie would have been possible without her." [24] On January 10, 2013, Wallis was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. At 9 years old, she is the youngest ever nominee in that category.[25] In an interview with People magazine, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
described the film as "spectacular."[26] The film's acclaim resulted in its Centerpiece screening at the 2012 Traverse City Film Festival.[27] Sight & Sound film magazine listed the film at #5 on its list of best films of 2012.[28] Accolades[edit] Main article: List of accolades received by Beasts of the Southern Wild The film won the Caméra d'Or award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival[29] after competing in the Un Certain Regard section.[30][31] It also won the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered,[32] and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2012 Deauville American Film Festival. The film went on to earn the Los Angeles Film Festival's Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Seattle International Film Festival's Golden Space Needle
Space Needle
Award for Best Director.[33] In October, it was announced that the film had won the Sutherland Trophy for Most Innovative Debut.[34] On January 10, 2013, the film was nominated for four Oscars, in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director (Benh Zeitlin), Best Actress (Quvenzhané Wallis), and Adapted Screenplay ( Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin).[35][36] The script won the 2012 Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.[37] References[edit]

^ " Beasts of the Southern Wild (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. August 14, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2012.  ^ " Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)". The Numbers. Retrieved February 24, 2018.  ^ "Youngest v oldest actress vie for Oscar as Lincoln leads the pack". The Times. Retrieved January 10, 2013.  ^ Walker, Tim (January 10, 2013). " Quvenzhané Wallis v Emmanuelle Riva: Best actress Oscar contested by oldest and youngest ever nominees". The Independent. London. Retrieved January 10, 2013.  ^ Rachel Arons, "A Mythical Bayou’s All-Too-Real Peril: The Making of ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild", New York Times June 8, 2012 ^ Lapin, Andrew (June 27, 2012). "The Real Bathtub: Back To The Bayou With 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild'". IndieWire.  ^ Wells, Veronica (July 24, 2012). "Black Girl Going Places: Quvenzhané Wallis". Madame Noire.  ^ Rivas, Jorge (July 5, 2012). "8-year-old tells off Leno". Colorlines/Salon Media Group, Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2012.  ^ Ebert, Roger (June 22, 2012). "Quvenzhané. A small force of nature". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 16, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.  ^ a b Marks, Scott. "Interview: Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry, Stars of Beasts of the Southern Wild". San Diego Reader. Retrieved 3 August 2012.  ^ "The Buttermilk Drop Bakery and Cafe". Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2012.  ^ Persall, Steve (August 1, 2012). " New Orleans
New Orleans
baker Dwight Henry sizzles in 'Beasts of Southern Wild' role". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved August 4, 2012.  ^ Beasts of the Southern Wild at Metacritic ^ " Beasts of the Southern Wild – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 15, 2012.  ^ She's the Man of This Swamp, Review: 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Directed by Benh Zeitlin, The New York Times. NYT Critics' Pick. By A.O. Scott. 27 June 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012. ^ Scott, A. O. (December 14, 2012). "25 Favorites From A Year When 10 Aren't Enough". The New York Times. Retrieved December 14, 2012.  ^ BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, Roger Ebert. Chicago Sun-Times. July 4, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012. ^ Manipulative music, plot devices keep 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' from greatness ★★, Michael Phillips. Chicago Tribune. July 5, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2012. ^ "NewBlackMan (in Exile): bell hooks: "No Love in the Wild"". newblackman.blogspot.com. Retrieved November 28, 2015.  ^ Biancolli, Amy (July 5, 2012). "2012 – 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' review: Wet and wild". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 29, 2013.  ^ Lumenick, Lou. "2012 – One of the year's 'Beast'". The New York Post. Retrieved January 29, 2013.  ^ "2012 – Beasts of the Southern Wild". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 29, 2013.  ^ Scott, A. O. (June 26, 2012). "2012 – She's the Man of this Swamp". The New York Times. Retrieved January 29, 2013.  ^ "2012 – Beasts of the Southern Wild". Chicago Sun-Times. July 4, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2013.  ^ Boardman, Madeline (January 10, 2013). "2012 – Quvenzhané Wallis & Oscars: 9-Year-Old Is Youngest Best Actress Nominee Ever". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 29, 2013.  ^ "2012 – The White House Interview". People Magazine. Retrieved December 31, 2012.  ^ Beasts of the Southern Wild, Reel Life with Jane. Online News Magazine. By Zack Mandell. June 30, 2012. Retrieved August 15, 2012. ^ "Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' Tops Sight & Sound's Best Of 2012". indiewire.com. December 1, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.  ^ "2012 Awards". Cannes. Retrieved May 27, 2012.  ^ "2012 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved April 22, 2012.  ^ Shoard, Catherine (April 19, 2012). "Cannes 2012: Haneke v Audiard, but no shows from Malick or PT Anderson". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 22, 2012.  ^ " 2012 Sundance Film Festival
2012 Sundance Film Festival
Announces Awards". sundance.org. January 28, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.  ^ "Awards for Beasts of the Southern Wild". Retrieved August 4, 2012.  ^ British Film Institute. "BFI London Film Festival announces 2012 award winners British Film Institute". Bfi.org.uk. Retrieved December 18, 2012.  ^ "Oscar nominations 2013". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 12, 2013.  ^ "85th Academy Awards
Academy Awards
nominees". Oscars. Retrieved January 10, 2013.  ^ "2012 Nebula Award Winners," Locus Magazine, May 18, 2013.

Further reading[edit] Barnsley, Veronica, "The Postcolonial Child in Benh Zeitlin's 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'", The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, June 2016 51: 240-255, doi:10.1177/0021989415626206 Yaeger, Patricia, " Beasts of the Southern Wild and Dirty Ecology[permanent dead link]," Southern Spaces, February 13, 2013. External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Official website Beasts of the Southern Wild on IMDb Beasts of the Southern Wild at AllMovie Beasts of the Southern Wild at Box Office Mojo Beasts of the Southern Wild at Rotten Tomatoes Beasts of the Southern Wild at Metacritic

v t e

Nebula Award for Best Script/Ray Bradbury Award

Nebula Award for Best Script

Soylent Green
Soylent Green
– Stanley R. Greenberg (1973) Sleeper – Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1974) Young Frankenstein
Young Frankenstein
Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
and Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder
(1975) Star Wars – George Lucas
George Lucas
(1977) The Sixth Sense M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan
(1999) Galaxy Quest
Galaxy Quest
– David Howard and Robert Gordon (2000) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
James Schamus, Kuo Jung Tsai, and Hui-Ling Wang (2001) The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
(2002) The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, and Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
(2003) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson
(2004) Serenity – Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon
(2005) Howl's Moving Castle – Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis Hewitt, and Donald H. Hewitt (2006) Pan's Labyrinth
Pan's Labyrinth
Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro
(2007) WALL-E
WALL-E
– Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, and Pete Docter
Pete Docter
(2008)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

Terminator 2: Judgment Day – James Cameron
James Cameron
(1992) Babylon 5 J. Michael Straczynski
J. Michael Straczynski
(1999) 2000X
2000X
– Tales of the Next Millennia – Yuri Rasovsky and Harlan Ellison (2001) Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon
(2008) District 9
District 9
Neill Blomkamp
Neill Blomkamp
and Terri Tatchell
Terri Tatchell
(2009) Inception
Inception
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
(2010) Doctor Who: "The Doctor's Wife" – Richard Clark and Neil Gaiman (2011) Beasts of the Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin, Lucy Alibar (2012) Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón
Alfonso Cuarón
and Jonás Cuarón (2013) Guardians of the Galaxy – James Gunn
James Gunn
and Nicole Perlman (2014) Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris (2015) Arrival – Eric Heisserer (2016)

v t e

Caméra d'Or winning films

Alambrista!
Alambrista!
(1978) Northern Lights (1979) Adrien's Story (1980) Desperado City (1981) Half a Life (1982) The Princess (1983) Stranger Than Paradise
Stranger Than Paradise
(1984) Oriana (1985) Noir et Blanc (1986) Robinsonada or My English Grandfather
Robinsonada or My English Grandfather
(1987) Salaam Bombay!
Salaam Bombay!
(1988) My 20th Century (1989) Freeze Die Come to Life
Freeze Die Come to Life
(1990) Toto the Hero
Toto the Hero
(1991) Mac (1992) The Scent of Green Papaya
The Scent of Green Papaya
(1993) Coming to Terms with the Dead (1994) The White Balloon (1995) Love Serenade
Love Serenade
(1996) Suzaku (1997) Slam (1998) Marana Simhasanam (1999) Djomeh
Djomeh
(2000) A Time for Drunken Horses (2000) Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001) Seaside (2002) Reconstruction (2003) Or (My Treasure) (2004) Me and You and Everyone We Know
Me and You and Everyone We Know
(2005) The Forsaken Land
The Forsaken Land
(2005) 12:08 East of Bucharest (2006) Jellyfish (2007) Hunger (2008) Samson and Delilah (2009) Año bisiesto
Año bisiesto
(2010) Las Acacias (2011) Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) Ilo Ilo
Ilo Ilo
(2013) Party Girl (2014) Land and Shade
Land and Shade
(2015) Divines (2016) Montparnasse Bienvenue (2017)

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Sutherland Trophy winning films

Tokyo Story
Tokyo Story
(1958) The World of Apu
The World of Apu
(1959) L'Avventura
L'Avventura
(1960) Il Posto
Il Posto
(1961) Paris Belongs to Us
Paris Belongs to Us
(1962) Muriel (1963) Hamlet (1964) Pierrot le Fou
Pierrot le Fou
(1965) The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short (1966) Samurai Rebellion
Samurai Rebellion
(1967) The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968) L'Amour fou (1969) The Conformist (1970) Four Nights of a Dreamer (1971) The Hour of the Furnaces
The Hour of the Furnaces
(1972) Pirosmani (1973) Martha (1974) The Travelling Players
The Travelling Players
(1975) In the Realm of the Senses
In the Realm of the Senses
(1976) Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977) The Scenic Route (1978) The Herd (1979) The Falls
The Falls
(1980) Two Stage Sisters
Two Stage Sisters
(1980) No Mercy, No Future
No Mercy, No Future
(1981) Elippathayam
Elippathayam
(1982) Sans Soleil
Sans Soleil
(1983) This Is My Country (1984) Yellow Earth
Yellow Earth
(1985) Comrades (film) (1986) Terrorizers
Terrorizers
(1987) Yeelen
Yeelen
(1987) Pathfinder (1989) The Fabulous Baker Boys
The Fabulous Baker Boys
(1990) On the Wire (1991) Proof (1992) Vacas
Vacas
(1993) The Scent of Green Papaya
The Scent of Green Papaya
(1994) The Silences of the Palace (1995) Bob's Weekend (1996) The Life of Jesus (1997) The Apple (1998) Ratcatcher (1999) You Can Count On Me
You Can Count On Me
(2000) The Warrior (2001) Carnage (2002) Osama (2003) Tarnation (2004) For the Living and the Dead (2005) Red Road (2006) Persepolis (2007) Tulpan (2008) Ajami (2009) The Arbor (2010) Las Acacias (2011) Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) Ilo Ilo
Ilo Ilo
(2013) The Tribe (2014) The Witch (2015) Raw (2016) The Wound (2017)

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Black Reel Award for Outstanding Film

2000-2009

The Hurricane (2000) Love & Basketball (2001) Training Day
Training Day
(2002) Antwone Fisher (2003) Out of Time (2004) Ray (2005, drama) Lightning in a Bottle
Lightning in a Bottle
(2005, comedy/musical) Crash (2006) Dreamgirls (2007) Cadillac Records
Cadillac Records
(2008) no awards in 2009

2010-present

Precious (2010) Night Catches Us
Night Catches Us
(2011) The Help (2012) Beasts of the Southern Wild (2013) 12 Years a Slave (2014) Selma (2015) Creed (2016) Moonlight (2017) Ge

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