01/10/2012 09:39 BST | Updated 01/12/2012 05:12 GMT

EXCLUSIVE FEATURETTE: Beasts Of The Southern Wild' Raises The Question: Is Eight Too Young For A Best Actress Oscar?

Beats of the Southern Wild has been receiving stunned plaudits from audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, with some serious pre-Oscar rumblings for its central performances.

beasts of the southern wild

Dwight Henry and Quvenzhane Wallas in Beasts of the Southern Wild

While Dwight Henry is on top form as an ailing father, struggling for survival amid the swamps of the deep South, it is eight-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis in her role of his daughter Hushpuppy who has really got the attention of critics - debating whether you can give such a young child a major award for her first film role, and questioning whether it is really acting when someone offers such an instinctive, untechnical portrayal that seems to come from somewhere deep inside, or up above.

Wherever it comes from, it's truly astonishing and, despite minimal dialogue and the view of the decaying bayou community around her in the backwaters of Louisiana, completely engrossing.

Beasts of the Southern Wild is in UK cinemas on 19 October. Watch the trailer below...