The deepest swamps of the South have historically served as a refuge where outlaws—runaway slaves, reservation-averse Indians, pirates, interracial families—founded tight, off-the-grid communities. Beasts of the Southern Wild is a gorgeous, sweet-hearted film set in one of those bayou towns. Its heroine, a 6-year-old girl named Hushpuppy, has a vivid imagination and an ailing father. The film has a few forgivable moments of Hollywood-style schmaltz, but it’s saturated in beauty—visual and emotional—and tells stories about the kinds of people Hollywood rarely deigns to acknowledge, much less get schmaltzy about. (See Movie Times)