Beasts of the Southern Wild
There is, simply put, nothing like this film.
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” is the story of Hushpuppy (Quvenzhané Wallis), a six-year-old girl who must largely fend for herself in the ramshackle (and fictional) South Lousiana shantytown known as The Bathtub. Her mother died when she was a baby, and her father is mostly absent, though when he's around he's typically drunk. As a result, Hushpuppy must largely fend for herself and find the courage to make a life for herself in this strange community.
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” may not be a film for everybody, but it is a film that everybody should see. It is filled with a verve and energy that is unlike anything that I have ever seen in a film. It is charming and yet sad. It will have you cheering and smiling. It is a strange, beautiful film.
So much of this is due to Zeitlin's remarkable direction and ability to craft a world that is grounded and tangible (it functions on many levels as a metaphor of Hurricane Katrina and the residents of New Orleans who refused to leave their home), and yet still is peppered with just the right tinge of fantasy and heightened reality.
But the true anchor of the film is Wallis' performance. In a year stacked with stellar performances, Wallis still managed (in her debut role, no less) to distinguish herself in an incredible way. Even at the age of six when “Beasts” was filmed, she managed to project a level of strength and courage that would be respectable for seasoned actresses.
This is just such a wonderful piece of art, it's difficult for me to put it into words. It seems somewhat cliché to use such a descriptor, but this was truly a life-affirming film, one that I can only hope you enjoy even a fraction as much as I do.
— Stewart Smith
1 stick butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers
1 pound peeled crawfish tails
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, celery, and bell peppers and sauté until the vegetables are wilted, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crawfish, garlic, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the crawfish for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve the flour in the water. Add the crawfish mixture. Season with salt and cayenne. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Stir in the parsley and green onions and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Serve over steamed rice.
Recipe by Emeril Lagasse