Animal Kingdom (2010)

January 7, 2011

Featured, Reviews

As an Australian, it’s taken me a long while to stand up and show some support for our particular breed of cinema – too often playing on the ‘mongrel battler’, the borderline psycopath or down-and-out .. but it’s time.

Well Rounded

“Well rounded” doesn’t even start to describe this movie. Jackie Weaver’s much-celebrated role as the matriarch of  large family of criminally-inclined ‘boys’ is not the award winning role that the movie’s PR company has decided to promote, but her role is pivotal and mesmerizing. Ben Mendelsen, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton and newcomer James Frecheville excel themselves in their roles and a dysfunctional and yet highly effective armed robbery team (of sorts). “Team” kind of  overstates the organic nature of their level of organisation, as you’ll see.

The score, the withheld dialogue and the brilliant in-situ cinematography is such a hallmark for Australian cinema, I fear for its successors – you have quite a task ahead of you.

Other notable mentions, while we’re talking Australian Cinema, are The Square and Beautiful Kate.

Watch the Special Features

David Michod, the director, has clearly invested the best part of ten years into this movie. The special features on the DVD, ‘The Making Of’ (together with his short film “Cross Brow”) are as engaging  as the feature. Do watch it.

The story is apparently centered (and I do mean centered, not based) around a seemingly random shooting of two police officers in a quiet suburban Melbourne street in the 1980s. That anchor is, in and of itself, nothing more than that … an interesting focal point … because [thankfully] the film doesn’t get billed as “based on a true story” type trite.

I look forward to David Michod’s next feature – and even though we might have to might have to wait sometime, something tells me it’ll be well worth it.

Aussie cinema – we’ve arrived!


IMDB 7.6/10


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About Justin Moss

An information and engineering technologist. Unabashedly opinionated, open-minded and an oft overthinker. Born Sydney Australia, home of the 'Southerly Buster'

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