Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), US
I have rarely seen such back-to-back praise from some of my favorite film critics (incl. Manohla Dargis, Roger Ebert, Andrew O’Hehir, etc.) focused on one film but this just happens to be one of those unique films. It took me a few hours after watching it to fully appreciate just how exceptional and beautiful this film really is and what an unbelievable achievement. And now, 3 days later, I am still mulling over the various themes (mainly family, community, father/daughter, death, global warming, Hurricane Katerina) and wondering whether this isn’t one of those “Best Of…” films.
Sounds like a cliche but the performances of the amateur actors in this film and especially that of the 6 year old Quvenzhane Wallis and her on screen dad, the off screen donuts making (!) Dwight Henry, truly shine.
And all of this on a shoe string budget. Amazing.