It has the contours of a dream, this wondrous, hallucinatory family story by filmmaker Benh Zeitlin. Six-year-old Hushpuppy (played beautifully by first-timer Quvenzhané Wallis) and her beaten-down father Wink (Dwight Henry, also a non-actor) live a precarious existence in a Louisiana Gulf Coast wetlands village called the Bathtub, surrounded by colorful hardscrabble neighbors and haunted, in Hushpuppy’s case, by nightmares of thunderous horned animals. But big changes are coming. The child’s adventures – adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from the latter’s stage play, Juicy & Delicious
– take on the trappings of a fairy tale, a child’s point of view of a place even the most prosaic grownup would find disorienting. The character parts are filled by perfectly cast amateurs, and the music score by Zeitlin and Dan Romer is superb. A one-of-a-kind experience. (91 min.)
See our full review:
Hushpuppy in Wonderland.