“Beasts of the Southern Wild” mixes harsh reality with imaginative fantasy to tell a story set in a land that may not be far away but feels as foreign as a distant country, all framed through the eyes of one little girl named Hushpuppy. I can’t say for certain what you will feel when this strange and delightful film is over, but I can guarantee you will be feeling something, which is more than I can say for a lot of the more expensive and more polished movies out there.
Ultimately, the film doesn’t want you to judge its characters. It also doesn’t ask you agree with them. It only wants you to know that they were there. As Hushpuppy says, “When I die, the scientists of the future, they’re gonna find it all. They gonna know, once there was a Hushpuppy, and she lived with her daddy in the Bathtub.
The film is rated PG-13 for thematic material including child imperilment, some disturbing images, language and brief sensuality.