We get one every year; an indie darling that rises from anonymity to award season contender. This year, it looks like that film may very well be Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts Of The Southern Wild," which, after debuting in Park City to ravishing acclaim and a Grand Jury prize, recently went on to impress at Cannes (where it earned FIPRESCI honors as well).
The film is led by the pint-sized Hushpuppy (a pretty ferocious performance by newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis) who lives with her Daddy in the The Bathtub, which is essentially New Orleans, in a magical realist tale featuring prehistoric creatures, melting icecaps, hurricanes and more. The film is pretty much synopsis-proof, so just believe us when we say this is one you'll want to see on the big screen.
Admittedly, we're suckers for films shot with a child's wonder in mind (see: Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio's "Alamar") but our review from Sundance wasn't short on praise, calling the movie "as unique as it is uneven, as unforgettable as it is uncomfortable" and saying that the film "trembles with the energy, bravura and passion of director Zeitlin, his cast and his crew like some rough animal snorting and stamping with horrible wonder and the possibility of both loss and understanding."