“Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.” I can’t say it better than this synopsis from IMDb. I knew very little about this going into it. The world revealed in this film will be foreign and backwards to many. It certainly is unique. As often happens with non-professional child actors, Wallis as Hushpuppy offers an unaffected performance when it comes to portraying basic emotions associated with love and trust and curiosity and survival. Her performance gives the audience an anchor in this strange environment, this overlooked corner of America. Hushpuppy’s adventure has a mythical feel to it like The Odyssey. The beasts of the title at first seemed straight out of a silly B-movie, but in the end were handled well technically and plot-wise. Very few of the cast members have professional acting experience, and it is more difficult to understand the adult characters’ motivations. Henry, as Hushpuppy’s father Wink, is difficult to identify with. Something seems profoundly wrong with the way he raises his daughter. It is difficult to confront middle-class perceptions of third-world-like communities here in the U.S.. Yet, the father and daughter relationship does tug at your heartstrings in the denouement.