I’ve had the good fortune of being able to go to the Sundance Film Festival the last two years. Getting tickets for the movies is a tricky and difficult business, but I’ve been lucky to have a few friends who live in Park City and scored me tickets. This past Sundance a friend got four tickets for a movie called Beasts of the Southern Wild. I wasn’t excited. The description in the Sundance catalogue seemed odd. The picture was weird. I had never heard of anyone in it. There are a lot of lame movies at Sundance, and I was guessing that this would be one of them.
I was wrong. It was wonderful and strange and beautiful and heart-wrenching. We were mesmerized by it. None of the actors in it are actually actors, they are all just locals from New Orleans who do an amazing job. (The stars are a struggling bakery owner and a 6-year-old girl both acting for their first time.) After the movie it was a joy to listen to them as they came out on stage and talked about the experience.
At the end of Sundance we learned that Beasts of the Southern Wild had won for best movie of the entire festival, and would be released nationwide. It was last week, and you should see it IF you like movies that are different and character and story driven.