Animal Kingdom

In a Nutshell: Animal Kingdom (2010)

Wow…I don’t know what to say. Was it good? Was it bad? No…definitely not bad. Good. Hmmm, yes, I’d say so. Actually, yes, definitely good as otherwise I wouldn’t even be writing about it. I think it was actually, pretty darn good. Hectic. Sometimes depressing, or rather, hopeless. Thought provoking. Well worth watching.

17 year old Joshua ‘J’ Cody (played by James Frecheville who I really enjoyed in Adore (here)) moves in with this grandmother and her sons after his mother overdoses on heroin. This is no ordinary family…no, they’re armed robbers, drug dealers, killers, the works. J is inevitably pulled into this criminal environment which isn’t made any easier with detectives trying to take the family down and a girlfriend adding to complications.

While it isn’t a very fast-paced action movie, it definitely keeps viewer tensions high all the way through. A number of times I found myself sitting with jaw agape from pure shock at some of the things that go down. Most shocking of all is character Andrew ‘Pope’ Cody, played so sickeningly well by Ben Mendelsohn. In fact, the entire cast is utterly convincing in their respective roles. From Jacki Weaver to Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton to Luke Ford and every other actor/actress involved. Directed by David Michôd, Animal Kingdom has even had an Oscar and a Golden Globe nomination (Jacki Weaver as Best Actress in a Supporting Role which, boy oh boy, is well deserved. She’s a nasty piece of work as the matriarch and likewise had me gaping in disbelief at some of her actions/decisions).

It’s gritty. Not glamorous. Brutal. And has some wonderful visual shots that provide the only relief for the two hours. Really well done.

This Australian movie is well worth the watch and will have you wondering how it can all possibly end. But be in the mood. It isn’t “light”…in fact, it had quite a negative effect on me yesterday.

So..not quite in a nutshell…but hey…

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