Distance: 3 Miles
Hearing there is a prescient child in a movie usually sets my teeth a bit on edge. And same when a film is an admixture of 'magic realism' and the story telling has huge gaps that are 'filled' by mystical 'coherence.' Then there is the business of spending a whole movie looking at poverty, unbridled drinking, random abusiveness and child abandonment/endangerment, and animal death. Plus more.
As it turns out, old dogs can learn new tricks. This movie is riveting, deeply touching, and non-sentimental (mostly). Given the voodoo and myth saturated Bayou culture, the magical realism seemed to me a wholly fitting element of the story telling.
But, all this is secondary to the acting of a now 7 year old girl. She was 5 when she was selected from a throng of 3,500 candidates. I can imagine she was absolutely stunning from the moment she delivered her audition lines. As Roger Ebert writes: She is so uniquely and particularly herself that I wonder if the movie would have been possible without her.
So what's the movie, and who is she? The Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Quvenzhané Wallis.
I say see it, and then read what critics say on Rotten Tomatoes if you like. (That's my usual routine - see the movie, check out how 'other' critics felt). The review I like because I've gained respect for him over the years and because it is linked with a whole slew of video interviews is Roger Ebert's.
PS - I'm at about 500 toward my goal of getting rid of 1,000 things.