OK for kids 14+
Devastatingly moving drama has harsh truths, whimsy, wisdom.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Beasts of the Southern Wild is a heart-wrenching fable that's so unique that it's hard to classify. It's a drama about an alcoholic father who means well but has few tools to convey his love to his spitfire 6-year-old daughter. It's a celebration of quirky friendships and the power of the imagination. It's an indictment of the deep divide that separates the rich and the poor. And much more. Expect some swearing; kids and adults both say the word "p---y." There's also lots of drinking, brutal depictions of abject poverty, an adult striking a child, and discussion about the death of a parent.
- Families can talk about how Beasts of the Southern Wild depicts drinking. Are there realistic consequences?
- What is the movie saying about fathers and their daughters and the ties that bind them? Is Wink a flawed father?
- Parents, talk to your kids about Hurricane Katrina: Who suffered most in the end? How does this movie reference the social issues that the hurricane brought to light?
- How does Hushpuppy cope with the difficulties in her life? Is she aware of them? How does she compare to other movie girls?
The good stuff
Messages: Steely resolve and courage can see you through the toughest of times, but you still need the love and warmth of family.
Role models: Hushpuppy is strong and brave and very precocious for her age. For a 6-year-old, she has a very wise outlook on serious matters, including death. She doesn't let anything keep her down, and she believes in her power and ability. Her father is deeply flawed and sometimes hurtful, but he loves her fiercely.
What to watch for
Violence: A character slaps his child once to discipline her, and she hits him back; he also taunts her to toughen her up. A child starts a fire. Three men blow up a dam.
Sex: A father discusses the night of his child's conception (but not in a lewd way). Kids dance in a brothel.
Language: A couple of uses of "s--t" and "p---y," plus "ass," "damn," "hell," "crap," and "goddamn."
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking, including off-label hooch, beer, wine, vodka, and other hard liquor. A man shares his liquor with his very young daughter.
Fan Reviews provided by
beautiful by baa6
I couldn't speak at the end of this movie, I was so choked up with emotion, so overwhelmed by this incredible experience. I'm not sure what it was about the film, certainly had something to do with Hushpuppy, with the story, with the location...but this movie moved me and has stayed with me and somehow changed me a bit. i know that sounds hokey, but it did.
Just an amazing story, simple and beautiful and hard and painful at times. '
I absolutely loved it and am thankful to everyone involved for creating this beauty and sharing it with the world.
something truly, truly special.
unlike anything i've ever seen before.
thank you. this is the power of a great story.
Pointless rubbish...LITERALLY! by Nicknb
This is a critic's movie. If you regularly agree with the critics and like 'way out there, but not much there' movies, then this pointless indulgence into filth, alcoholism, and fantasy will delight you and leave you satiated for some time. The little girl was very good, and was the only reason I found to stay till the end.
Poignant and Gut Wrenching by ambarrojr
One of the most incrediable films I've seen in years. Benh Zeitlin is a remarkable young talent. This is a must see for anybody who has ever complained how badly they have it in life, and gives sad meaning to "blissful ignorance". The 200-mile drive to the closest theater showing the film was well worth it. I'd do it again.......
Astoundingly Beautiful by cksanders
Living in New Orleans for 35 years, and growing up in Quezervhane' Wallis's hometown, I expected a film with bad accents and others' concepts of what people from "down the bayou" are like. Never was I so wrong. "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is magical in every way. The acting is Oscar-worthy, particularly from Miss Wallace and Mr. Henry. The director had his work cut out for him - no one has ever gone into the bayous and so accurately filmed and actually captured this land and its inhabitants, portraying the beauty, the hardships, the joy, the grit, and deep love of life held dear by these people. From the intriguing, exquisitely beautiful opening, to the spell-binding, powerful narrative by the tiny, brilliant powerhouse Miss Wallace, to the achingly beautiful ending that made me want to go home and take a ride"down the bayou," "Beasts" proved to be THE film that will uplift without being smarmy, scare without gore, and show love and courage in the purest, most beautiful form.
This is a great movie that stays with you! by nnorton123
Hushpuppy, the 6 year old star of this film, is just as her name describes - tough on the outside and tender and sweet on the inside. The relationship between father and daughter is the focus of this film. He seems as uncaring and harsh as their environment, but it becomes clear that he is preparing her for harsh reality even as they live in a harsh reality - bayou country at the edge of the world - "the bathtub", surrounded by water and virtually cut off from civilization. My 12 and 14 y/o kids loved the film as well. You feel like you're stepping into another world that is strange and almost absurd, but you leave loving everyone in it.
Lives Up To Critics' Praise by rhtwo
Beautiful, poignant, and deep. It dares you to rethink the meaning of dignity, freedom and love. A movie that will stay with you long after you leave the theater.
Tear jerker by blumusdu
I started crying five minutes in. I stopped crying by the final credits. There were some dry moments. There were smiles and maybe a laugh. Most of the movie I spent almost crying, crying, and thinking what a great little actress that little girl is. It's playing at the ArcLight Hollywood even though it's currently not showing up online.
Unadorned indie masterpiece by CoolLoon
Strong point is subtext almost totally unadorned, even by words. Using the landscape, a bit of dreams, and terrific editing, every frame is rich in story and palpable truth. Watching, one never doubts that the father loves his child. But does she understand? Given the opportunity to escape what seems like a horrific life, she carefully saves alligator nuggets from her only meal in days and runs back through the swampland to feed her dying father. Really, a beautiful film.
Profound, Disturbing, Enjoyable... by JeffyGlenn
This movie took me away to a place foreign to me that was real and surreal all rolled into one. The reality of the lives portrayed here is hard to watch, but the humanity of them is uplifting. I want my friends who do volunteer work down there to see this.
Beasts of the Southern Wild by mary884
I've seen Beasts of the Southern Wild twice and looking forward to seeing it AGAIN! The actors were great and the script was excellent. I laughed and cried. A good "get away" film.