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Animal Kingdom (2010)

Cast: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Jacki Weaver, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Luke Ford, Sullivan Stapleton, Dan Wyllie, Anthony Hayes, Laura Wheelwright, Mirrah Foulkes, Justin Rosniak, Susan Prior, Clayton Jacobson

Director(s): David Mich˘d

Language: English

Genre: Crime / Gangster

Synopsis

Welcome to the terrifying Melbourne crime underworld, where tensions are on the brink of exploding between felons and renegade cops - the Wild West played out on the city's streets in broad daylight. The Cody brothers, a gang of armed robbers, are in the process of initiating their teenage nephew Joshua 'J' (James Frecheville) into their frightening world after the death of his mother and under the watchful eye of his matriarchal grandmother, Smurf (Jacki Weaver), a modern-day Ma Barker.
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motleymitch wrote on February 16, 2011, 6:03 am
Rated
Excellent storytelling about an Australian criminal family and their persistent methods of trying to elude the cops and cover up their tracks while taking in a distant nephew who may unwittingly bring them down. The family members aren't the smartest lot - the cops know who they are and have them under surveillance, waiting for the slightest excuse to take them all in - but the mother is more the mastermind than the others may realize and presides over all of them with a sly smile and many hugs (very Ma Barker). Apart from Guy Pearce, the cast is largely unknown (at least outside of Australia), and those in the crime family do a good job of maintaining a silent but threatening presence. The film focuses less on their felonies and more on their paranoia, distrusts, hideouts, dealings with lawyers & pursuits by the police. My only beef is that the main character (the young nephew) rarely seems to emote - be it hanging out with his girlfriend, tagging along with the family during a drug deal, or holing up in a witness protection program, he mostly keeps the same passive, sullen look on his face (and he vaguely resembles Dion Phaneuf, in an unsettling way). As his uncles get more careless, we see how things start getting sloppy and going from bad to worse, and are left watching how the nephew is stuck with them all and trying to figure out who to trust. An Oscar nom went to Jacki Weaver here, which is deserving, but it's unlikey she'll win seeing as how no one's heard of her or this film, which is a shame. Check it out if you get the chance.
Papamikey wrote on February 16, 2011, 7:50 am
Comment
Was this sponsered by Mututal of Omaha?

Deril wrote on February 16, 2011, 9:03 am
Comment
"ok Weaver, spin the wheel of fish"

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