It's best to keep expectations in check. Go in with a blank slate and try not to be influenced by critics who will tell you how great it is. It felt. Whether or not it lives up to that level, is up to the viewer.
There's a lot of good elements to be found -- the performances are naturalistic as hell, the score is quite oddly mesmerizing (it was co-composed by the director) and there are some great shots/moments (Hush Puppy running with the sparklers; recalling how many times she was held as an infant) but it didn't strike me as the next great American film from the next great American filmmaker. Zeitlin has potential. I think he could've erred and made the film a patronizing view of southern eccentrics in the wake of Katrina but he avoids that. Some of the metaphor/narration was heavy handed, though.
Wallis is going to definitely work the circuit, as apparent by the Q&A session. I don't know if she'll make history as the youngest Best Actress nominee ever, but don't be surprised. To me, the real inspiring moment was hearing from Dwight Henry (who plays the father), a guy who basically ran his own bakery and never acted in his life til he heard they were auditioning for a movie.
Last edited by Lazy Boy; 06-25-2012 at 12:19 AM..