If you missed seeing Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild in theaters before its four Oscar nominations substantially upped its buzz, you’re in luck! Fox Searchlight has announced that a theatrical re-release will begin this weekend in select cities. The indie picture is up for an Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Quvenzhane Wallis) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lucy Alibar, Behn Zeitlin). Hit the jump to see which cities and theaters will be showing Beasts of the Southern Wild starting this weekend.
In past years for my “Best of” list, I’ve been able to provide fun categories like “Best Kill” and “Best Quotes”, but sadly, that won’t be happening this year. I keep notes throughout the year, but in July, my hard drive crashed, and because I am a foolish person, I didn’t back up the notes to a separate drive. However, I do have enough information to do the traditional categories as well as Breakthrough Performance, “A Very Good Year”, Best Villain, Best Surprises, Biggest Disappointments, and a new category, “Best Movie You Probably Missed This Year.” One final note: unlike previous years, the film had to come out in 2012; festival-only flicks don’t count, so that’s why there’s no love for The Place Beyond the Pines on this year’s list.
Hit the jump to check out my miscellaneous “Best of 2012″ picks. Be sure to keep checking back this week as we’ll be running Top 10 lists from Adam, Dave, and me.
Lord help us, awards season is here again. I’m a member of SEFCA (the Southeastern Film Critics Association) and my first screener arrived yesterday afternoon (it was for The Exotic Marigold Hotel). Today, the Gotham Independent Film Awards have announced their nominees. The Best Picture nominees are Bernie, The Loneliest Planet, The Master, Middle of Nowhere, and Moonrise Kingdom. I haven’t seen Planet or Nowhere, but I’m a bit surprised at the absence of Beasts of the Southern Wild, although the film did pick up nominations for Breakthrough Director (Benh Zeitlin) and Breakthrough Actor (Quvenzhané Wallis).
Hit the jump for a full list of the nominees. Winners will be announced on November 26th.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is a spellbinding adventure set just past the known edges of the American Bayou, in a forgotten but defiant community known as The Bathtub. The film follows a girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis) as she takes on rising waters, a sinking village, changing times, an army of prehistoric creatures and an unraveling universe that she bravely tries to stitch back together through the sheer force of spirit and resilience in order to save her ailing father, Wink (Dwight Henry). Shot on location in the coastal parishes of Louisiana with local non-actors in the lead roles, Beasts of the Southern Wild came to the Sundance Film Festival a hand-made, fiercely imaginative underdog and left a runaway hit and winner of the coveted Grand Jury Prize.
At the press day, we sat down with Wallis, Henry and director Benh Zeitlin to talk about what inspired the heartfelt story about a fantastical bayou neverland and its tenacious characters. Wallis and Henry discussed what it was like acting in their first movie, how they prepared for their roles, and the special bond they formed on and off screen. Zeitlin told us about the collaborative writing process, how he set about creating a mystical Mississippi Delta community, and why he has always been interested in people that never abandon the places and people they care about even when it’s dangerous.
Another Cannes, another win for Michael Haneke. Haneke won the Grand Jury Prize in for The Piano Teacher in 2001, Best Director for Caché in 2005, and the festival’s top honor, the Palme d’Or, for The White Ribbon in 2009. With no brass ring left, Haneke settled for another Palme D’Or at this year’s fest for his typically harrowing tale of elderly marriage, Amour (aka Love). Haneke is now the eighth director to win Best Film twice*, joining the likes of Francis Ford Coppola and the Daredenne brothers.
Beyond the Hills was the only film to win multiple awards, earning both Best Screenplay (by writer/director Cristian Mungiu) and a tie for Best Actress between co-stars Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur. The only winner I can guarantee we Americans will be able to see anytime soon is Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is set for release on June 27 after writer/director Benh Zeitlin won the Caméra d’or (Best First Feature). The jury also awarded Reality, The Angels’ Share, Post Tenebras Lux, and The Hunt. Hit the jump for the full list of award winners.
The first trailer and poster have gone online for the 2012 Sundance darling Beasts of the Southern Wild. Directed by Benh Zeitlin, the film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to a rapturous response, with our own Matt Goldberg calling it “a must-see movie…unlike anything you’ve seen in years” in his review (he gets a shout-out in the trailer as well). The film is “a lyrical, poetic odyssey through the flooded land outside the New Orleans’ levy, and the story is narrated by a young girl as she takes in her terrifying and magical surroundings.” I’ve been dying to see this ever since the film’s Sundance response, and this trailer has ramped up my anticipation even more. Quvenzhané Wallis is at once strong and adorable in the lead role, and this certainly does look to be a wholly unique piece of filmmaking.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film will screen in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this month and opens in theaters on June 27th.
I really, really liked Beasts of the Southern Wild when I saw it at Sundance, which put me in the minority of my peers, who absolutely loved the hell out of it. The movie is a lyrical, poetic odyssey through the flooded land outside the New Orleans’ levy, and the story is narrated by a young girl as she takes in her terrifying and magical surroundings. Benh Zeitlin‘s debut feature picked up Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Feature, and now Box Office Mojo has tweeted that the film is due out for a limited release on June 29th. It’s a big piece of counter-programming in the summer movie season, but Fox Searchlight knows how to market the hell out of their movies, and I’m interested see how they’ll be selling this one. My advice: just show the film’s unforgettable intro.
The other limited release opening on June 29th is Sarah Polley‘s Take This Waltz starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen. The wide releases are G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Steven Soderbergh‘s male-stripper movie Magic Mike.
Movies have the power to transport us to different worlds. Benh Zeitlin‘s Beasts of the Southern Wild transports us to a world we never dreamt before and beyond our imagination. It is a world wrapped in poetry, wonder, and magic. It is a work of breathtaking scope, vision, and confidence. It is a story bursting with life and death, rage and tranquility, fear and bravery, and all of it delivered through a magnificent score, thoughtful cinematography, and on the shoulders of its child star. It is an intellectual feast even though it sometimes leaves the emotional moments malnourished. But it is a movie unlike anything you’ve seen in recent years and it is a movie you must see.