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Beasts of the Southern Wild–opening on the 27th–is a beautifully filmed, award winning tale of a girl named Hushpuppy who lives with her dad in the Southern delta, learning the ropes of living as dad gets sick, the ice caps melt, and giant pigs roam the swamps.
It’s evocative, charming, and dramatic, with brilliant performances by little Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry as her dad.
At BAMcinemaFest last night, director/co-writer Benh Zeitlin said no one in the film had acted before.
Dwight Henry happens to own a New Orleans bakery they hung out at, and Wallis simply auditioned–along with about 4000 other girls.
Last night, she charmed the crowd with the story of how she lied on her application by saying she was six; she was only five!
The other goodie this year has been another offbeat family film–Lynn Shelton‘s Your Sister’s Sister, about a woman, her half-sister, and her dead boyfriend’s brother working through some seeming betrayals en route to forming an offbeat alliance.
At first I was afraid it was going to be another lesbian-sleeps-with-a-man film, but there’s more to it than that–there’s a twist–and despite some contrivances, the relationships are arrestingly played out and the actors (Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass) are captivatingly intimate.
Duplass should become a big star and go on talk shows with the petite powerhouse Quvenzhane.