Indie Gems: Animal Kingdom

Who wants to be part of the family business?

17 year old J (James Frecheville) witnesses his mother die of a heroin overdose. The only family he has to turn to are the ones his mother has been sheltering him from for years. He goes to stay with his grand mother, Janine aka Smurf. (Jacki Weaver) She has three sons, Pope, (Ben Mendelsohn) Craig, (Sullivan Stapleton) and Darren (Luke Ford) Pope and Darren are robbers and Craig deals drugs. A serious of events puts J in the middle of all of this. He's torn between being loyal to a family and assisting a detective (Guy Pearce) who's trying to bring them down.

I've wanted to see this ever since Jacki Weaver got nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the film. (We she 100% deserved by the way, she was fantastic) I've just never gotten a chance until now. It was definitely worth the wait for me. I love Australian movies in general because they have the sexiest accents I've ever heard, but that detail aside, there's a lot of great things about this film. Weaver is not the only one that gives a great performance, everyone else does too. Even though Pearce and Joel Edgerton's roles in the film are small, they make good use of their little screen time. It's a very dark and violent story, but it never feels over the top. 

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Let him know who's king." - Craig (Sullivan Stapleton)

12 comments:

  1. Oh man! I've been wanting to check this one out for a long time! I hope this is on Netflix. I've been impressed by Edgerton in a couple of things and obviously Pearce is a fantastic actor. Jacki Weaver is excellent as well in everything I've seen her in.

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    1. They're all wonderful. It's on Netflix discs.

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  2. Good review Brittani. This one worked for me. Even if it was a conventional plot-line at first, it didn't turn out that way and it kept me excited throughout.

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  3. I really liked Jacki Weaver in The Silver Linings Playbook, and I've always meant to see this movie. You've piqued my interest even further.

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    1. Great! I loved her in SLP too. I'm glad she got another Oscar nom there.

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  4. I love this film! Mendelsohn, Edgerton, Pearce and Weaver are terrific. I wish it had received more awards attention, but it's awesome that Weaver was nominated.

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    1. That was huge for her, and I'm glad she's getting more roles in the US from it. She's awesome.

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  5. This is one of my favorite films from the past few years; really glad you liked it. That first scene tells you everything you need to know about J. I mean Jesus, who just sits there under those circumstances? And that first call he makes to Smurf is so awkward and authentic. Ah, love this film.

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    1. I loved that part too. When he asks her if she still knows where they live.

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  6. I absolutely love this movie. It's like The Godfather in the Aussie suburbs. Weaver absolutely deserved her nomination (and should've won) but where was the love for Mendelsohn? He was the unsung hero just like in everything he does.

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    1. I love her nomination too. I wish this would've gotten a wider release in the states. It could've done really well with more marketing.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.