OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Animal Kingdom

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival!

Animal Kingdom poster artWhen Justin ‘J’ Cody (newcomer James Frecheville) is forced to live with his grandmother Janine (Jacki Weaver), he and his girlfriend Nicky (Laura Wheelwright) are introduced to the world of Melbourne’s criminal underworld in a family led by brothers Pope (Ben Mendelsohn), Barry (Joel Edgerton), Craig (Sullivan Stapleton) and Darren (Luke Ford). As a tit-for-tat war breaks out and the police, led by  Detective Senior Sergeant Leckie (Guy Pearce) close in, Josh learns the most valuable lesson you can learn from this family is to just shut the hell up.

As a film Animal Kingdom does everything right. Each scene has been perfectly written by director/screenwriter David Michôd, who also manages to keep the audience constantly guessing what is going to happen next, while expertly not giving anything away before it happens. The characters are so reckless and complex that the audience is kept guessing throughout.

There is simply no weak link in the acting in Animal Kingdom. Jacki Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn and newcomer, James Frecheville are on top of their game, while Luke Ford shows that his brilliant performance in The Black Balloon wasn’t a fluke. If Weaver, Mendelsohn and Frecheville don’t walk away with Australian Film Awards this year then something is drastically wrong.

Animal Kingdom is the perfect film. The acting, writing and directing are all the best they can possible be. In fact, to use the word ‘faultless’ would not be an exaggeration. Raw and gritty, Animal Kingdom blows the opposition right out of the water.

– Dave Grifitths, Mediasearch

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