A 1.27 Sundance Film Festival article by N.Y. Times critic Manohla Dargis proclaimed that “nothing else…came close to stirring up the excitement and sense of discovery generated by Beasts of the Southern Wild…a hauntingly beautiful [film] both visually and in the tenderness it shows toward the characters.”

Dargis has an eagle eye and highly refined taste buds, but there are two things I can usually count on when it comes to her Sundance Film Festival coverage: (1) She’ll never share or suggest what it’s like to live in a film as you’re watching it — how it actually tastes and feels from a non-eltitist, Joe Popcorn journeyman perspective, as I attempted to do in my Beasts review; and (b) her Sundance sum-up pieces will almost always focus on films that I missed for whatever reason or chose to bypass (For Ellen, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Bachelorette) or which I respected but wasn’t especially thrilled by (2 Days in New York).

Dargis acknowledges that Beasts “inspired a minor critical backlash” during the latter part of the festival. That may or may not be Dargis-ese for “people of varied pedigrees dared to express their gut feelings in addition to mulled-over aesthetic responses.”