PDA

View Full Version : Animal Kingdom (2010) Australian Crime Drama



Randy Thomas G
11-18-2010, 01:55 AM
Just saw this tonight at the local art house theatre. A really great film I think, it's a portrait of a family of criminals who rob banks, but instead of the typical 'exciting' scenes of a bank robbery, we see the aftermath as the family are hunted down by a corrupt and murderous police squad. Few films so de-glamourize crime as this film, which is lyrical and nightmarish at the same time.

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/R5BsYRmMfus?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/R5BsYRmMfus?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>

It's all told from the viewpoint of a withdrawn teenage boy (a very impressive James Frecheville) who is dragged into the downward spiral of his criminal brethen after his mother ODs and he is 'rescued' by his apparently sweet grandmother played to perfection by Jacki Weaver, apparently there's some Oscar buzz around her performance here and it is definitely warranted but I doubt she'd win for playing such a despicable character.

The entire cast is great in this, the only known name to me is Guy Pearce who plays the one semi-sympathetic cop but the other stand outs are Ben Mendelsohn as the unstable and socipathic 'Pope' and Joel Edgerton as the exhausted head of the family.

Mucho recommended.

Aaron G
11-18-2010, 03:27 AM
Yeah it's a pretty good contemporary Ozzie film. While not as brilliant as CHOPPER, it's better than the raft of drek we've shipped out the past decade. It's in the vein of BLUE MURDER, but with more metrosexual actors in the cast that will probably be in yr next Hollywood blockbuster next week...

It's loosely based on 'the Walsh Street Killings' when two cops were shot in revenge by criminals in the late 80s. The whole saga is inter-linked in the great 'Leadbelly' true crime book from a few years back which acted as the basis of the TV series 'Underbelly'.

It's more in tone with the other real good Aussie film of recent times THE BOYS.

Randy Thomas G
11-18-2010, 05:39 AM
There's not much metrosexual about the guy playing Pope but I know what you mean, they are generally a handsome bunch in this film.

I also thought of THE BOYS when I was watching this, although it isn't as pitch black as that film, I mentioned to my gf after and we may revisit that one soon as she can't remember it and I saw it a long time ago.

Dominic D
11-18-2010, 06:03 AM
I wanted to go see this and support Aussie cinema but I just can't bring myself to shell out for another damned Melbourne gangland story. Australian's seem to be obsessed by Melbourne gangs murdering each each other. There have been a bunch of local TV series and movies focusing on this. Combined with the way the media is intent on making these bastards celebrities it's all just becoming a bit unpalatable.

Also I met one of the main actors a year ago and he kept having a crack at me even though I didn't know who he was (possibly because I didn't know who he was now I come to think of it) and I just can't bring myself to watch this despite patriotism and word that this is actually a decent film.

Steve R
11-18-2010, 01:24 PM
Randy,

Thanks for the recommend. Will def see this.
Should be a nice follow up to the other crime dramas I've seen
lately.

Boy A - Knockout story of a boy convicted for murder and his shot at redemption
Dirty Carnival - Korean gangster goes up and comes down, not bad
Chaser - This was fantastic! One of the neatest character arcs I've seen in years.

I heard about AK and am glad to see your positive review.

Wostry Ferenc
11-18-2010, 01:39 PM
I really don't understand the bashing of the aussie films by australians. I think they are in the wast majority of cases excellent or very good films. You want shit? Watch hungarian films.

Ryan Emberg
11-18-2010, 02:35 PM
Sounds interesting, I will have to check this out for sure.

Another Aussie crime flick I saw recently and really found impressive was The Square, which I would strongly reccomend. Very hardboiled.

Dominic D
11-18-2010, 05:01 PM
I really don't understand the bashing of the aussie films by australians. I think they are in the wast majority of cases excellent or very good films. You want shit? Watch hungarian films.

Remember we only export the cream of the crop. All those films about families struggling to get along because little Johnny has leukemia- which is 90% of the product- probably don't get seen overseas much.

As far as Aussie genre cinema goes, I'm hanging out for Red Hill. I'm told it's a cracker.

Aaron G
11-19-2010, 05:33 AM
. You want shit? Watch hungarian films.

What? Like BELA TARR? He's only influenced half of hip American cinema and the rest!

It would be nice if we had a Bela Tarr but we don't. Shessh!

But ANIMAL KINGDOM was a good film, worth checking out.:cool:

Wostry Ferenc
11-19-2010, 06:11 AM
You seriously like Tarr? Jesus... Guess it doesn't help that I know him and he is an asshole. On the other hand just the other day I had a fight (just a verbal fight) with the director of Taxidermia, and that one is a good film :)

Wostry Ferenc
11-19-2010, 06:16 AM
check out the french film Le Pere des mes enfants, it's about why Tarr's frech producer committed suicide. Thye don't have the balls to say outright that it was because of Tarr, in the film it's a swedish director not a hungarian one (its not a documentary but a fictionalized account).

Randy Thomas G
11-20-2010, 03:40 AM
THE SQUARE is a good, tight noir. I dug it. I also like Bela Tarr btw, couldn't care less if he's an asshole in real life.

Nick McBride
11-23-2010, 03:08 AM
I wanted to go see this and support Aussie cinema but I just can't bring myself to shell out for another damned Melbourne gangland story. Australian's seem to be obsessed by Melbourne gangs murdering each each other. There have been a bunch of local TV series and movies focusing on this. Combined with the way the media is intent on making these bastards celebrities it's all just becoming a bit unpalatable.


Aussies are definitely obsessed by their gangland and its been such a rich source for excellent drama. I can't get enought of it either. The first Underbelly TV series was awesome. I agree making these bastards celebrities is bad, and thought that was much more of a problem with the third Underbelly series, not with Animal Kingdom.

Wostry Ferenc
12-25-2010, 05:35 PM
Nicely shot.

Unfocused script, uninvolving characters, unconvincing acting (except for Guy Pearce), waaaaaaay too long.

Aaron G
12-26-2010, 08:32 PM
Nicely shot.

Unfocused script, uninvolving characters, unconvincing acting (except for Guy Pearce), waaaaaaay too long.

You've just described nearly EVERY Aussie film of the last 20 years!

Wostry Ferenc
12-27-2010, 10:54 AM
Nearly. For example I loved RED HILL.

Adam L
12-27-2010, 12:59 PM
For example I loved RED HILL.

Really? Then you don't get to complain about unfocused scripts in Australian films. How about that supernatural element in Red Hill that had foreshadowing, an introduction, and then never arrived?

Wostry Ferenc
12-27-2010, 02:47 PM
coz australians are stupid. fucking brood of crocodile dundee, buncha kangaroo-fucking mad max wannabees. Wheeeeeeerz ma beeeeeeer, Brouuuuuccccce?

Aaron G
12-27-2010, 04:54 PM
coz australians are stupid. fucking brood of crocodile dundee, buncha kangaroo-fucking mad max wannabees. Wheeeeeeerz ma beeeeeeer, Brouuuuuccccce?

and you forgot cross-dressers too, since PRISCILLA was one of our biggest films in the last 20 years....!!!

Wostry Ferenc
12-28-2010, 01:29 AM
and Russell Crowe! Don't get me started!

Dominic D
12-28-2010, 01:35 AM
and Russell Crowe! Don't get me started!

He's Kiwi. He's careful to obscure that fact but we only claim him when he wins awards.

Animal Kingdom cleaned up down here at the box office, with critics and awards. Interestingly Red Hill didn't get a look in. Nor did anyone go see it. Not even myself. I was too busy for a couple weeks then when I wanted to see it it was gone. Horribly mishandled.