Michelle Obama's Oscar endorsement

First lady Michelle Obama. Photo / AP
First lady Michelle Obama. Photo / AP

Michelle Obama has gushed over the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild, calling it one of the "most powerful and most important" movies in a long time in a ringing endorsement delivered less than two weeks before this month's Academy Awards ceremony.

The US first lady commented during a Black History Month workshop on Wednesday at the White House for about 80 middle- and high-school students from the District of Columbia and New Orleans. The movie was set in Louisiana.

Students saw the film, then got to question director Benh Zeitlin and actors Dwight Henry and nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis. Wallis stars in the mythical tale of a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy struggling to survive in the southern Delta with her ailing father as a storm approaches. Her world consists of a tight-knit, shantytown community on the bayou with wild animals, both real and imagined.

The film won four Oscar nominations, including for best picture, best actress and directing.

Michelle Obama said she saw the 93-minute film over the US summer with a large group of friends and family who ranged in age from three to 73, and they were enthralled by it.

"It's rare these days to find a movie that can so completely and utterly captivate such a broad audience and that was one of the things that struck me about this movie," she said. "It managed to be beautiful, joyful and devastatingly honest."

The first lady said Beasts makes viewers "think deeply about the people we love in our lives who make us who we are" and shows the strength of communities and the power they give others to overcome obstacles.

"It also tells a compelling story of poverty and devastation but also of hope and love in the midst of some great challenges," she said.

Michelle Obama also said it was "cool" that "there are so many important lessons to learn in that little 93 minutes".

"That a director and a set of writers and producers can say so much in just 93 minutes," the US first lady told the students. "And it doesn't always happen in a movie, quite frankly, but this one did it, and that's why I love this movie so much and why our team wanted to bring it here to the White House and share it with all of you."

- AP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 22 Aug 2014 18:50:44 Processing Time: 590ms