Review: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

So it’s been a very (very) long time since I posted a movie review, and the Oscar-nominated “Beasts of the Southern Wild” seems like as good a film as any to break the lengthy review hiatus.

“BotSW” is, of course, about the residents of a fictional island off the coast of Louisiana who are threatened with inundation when a dangerous storm approaches. It also involves alligator fritters, a nervous little dog, some ugly fish, and a herd of menacing Aurochs which are, in fact, pot-bellied pigs wearing tusks, and which don’t look nearly as ridiculous as they sound. Certainly it’s done better than, say, “Night of the Lepus“, about killer rabbits. (Not the kind that defend the Holy Grail, unfortunately.)

The film can also lay claim to being one of the few that scared Dennis when we watched it, both during a scene with fireworks and when the Big Storm hits with the rain and the thunder. Usually, Dennis just ignores movie sound effects (including the entire Battle of Hoth, which may qualify as Noisiest Battle Ever), but this time, treats were required to get him to stay in the room. We are now considering purchasing it to use as desensitization material.

Anyway, some may recall that the rating method I use for movie reviews is “How Long Did The Movie Take To Put My Wife To Sleep?” With “BotSW”, something unprecedented happened when we started watching it one evening this week. Rather than describe it, I will attempt to recreate the situation in dialogue.

Me: “It’s getting late.”
Wife: “Let’s watch a little more.”

More watching of “BotSW” ensues

Me: “It’s 10 o’clock. It’s past bedtime.”
Wife: “Let’s stay up a little longer.

More watching of “BotSW” ensues

Me: *YAWN*
Wife: “What time is it?”
Me: “10:15. Way past bedtime.”
Wife: “How much of the movie is left?”
Pause to check remaining time
Me: “Over an hour.”
Wife: “Oh.  Well, I guess we can’t finish it tonight. We can go to sleep if you want to.”

But wait, it gets even MORE unprecedented! The next night, Friday, after getting home from the studio, taking care of the dogs, feeding the fish, etc., another exchange takes place:

Wife: “Do we have time to finish the movie?”
Me: “It’s 10 o’clock!”
Wife: “So you don’t want to finish the movie?”
Me: “It’s 10 o’clock!”
Wife: “Can we watch a little of it?”
Me: “It’s 10 o’clock!”
Wife: “So you want to go to sleep, then?”

We finally finished the movie on Saturday, but as can be seen from the preceding conversations, this is the Most Highly Rated Film ever to be viewed at our house. Not only did it fail to put my wife to sleep, she tried to make ME stay awake for it, when it was clearly well past bedtime. Twice! Benh Zeitlin, you have your work cut out for you on your next movie if you want to top this one.

5 thoughts on “Review: “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

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