Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) is a six-year-old girl who lives with her dad Wink (Dwight Henry) in a forgotten bayou community called the Bathtub off the shores of New Orleans. She lost her mom and she knows her dad is very ill. She wants to save the reality she loves: the ramshackle huts in a swamp she and Wink call the most beautiful place on earth. Her father loves her and is trying to raise her to be able to stand on her own, albeit his methods border on child-abuse. He knows he won’t be there much longer to take care of her. When a wild tropical storm approaches, some of the inhabitants of the Bathtub decide to stay and ride it out, including Hushpuppy and Wink.
Hushpuppy will do whatever it takes to save her life and her reality – and her reality is overpowered by a fantastic imagination and an indomitable spirit.
This movie by Fox Searchlight Pictures was directed by Benh Zeitlin and written by Lucy Alibar and Zeitlin, based on Alibar’s play “Juicy and Delicious.” All the actors are non-professionals and this was their first role. The story meanders and the camera is shaky to the point of making the audience dizzy at times. When I came home afterwards and walked into my own clean bedroom I remembered Wink’s dilapidated shack and all the junk littering the place, and I wondered if we could possibly be living in the same country.
Ebert gave this movie four stars and calls it one of the year’s best. He does an excellent job reviewing it. He also met Dwight Henry, the actor that played Wink.
In the end, I enjoyed this film, but I would not tell my friends to go out and see it. Quvenzhané Wallis will be acting again, I am sure. She she is beautiful, she has spunk and she’ll get lots of attention for Beasts of Southern Wild.
Rating: ** 1/2