Director: David Michôd
The 2010 winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize in the Sundance Film Festival, this crime-drama movie is based on the story of the 17 years old J Cody after the death of his mother. Later, J decides to move with his grandmother and uncles whom his mother has protected him from all his childhood. A family of criminals that is involved in robberies and dealing drugs with diverse personalities. J, a shy and quite person, feels confused as he doesn’t seem to fit in this type of atmosphere. The film picks up from that point with a serious of events leading up to the dramatic last act of the film.
Although not original at all!! Animal Kingdom shines more than most of the movies in this genre in many aspects. James Frecheville’s brilliant job in portraying a shy and confused young man (J Cody) was one of the reasons that kept me intrigued to what would happen next. The character build up was very well done in this movie; it didn’t bore you with unnecessary details, but gave you enough insight into each personality that would make you understand the reasons behind every person’s actions.
One of the things I loved about this film is the fact that some of the scenes might not make sense at first glance but the director leaves it up to us to understand the reasoning behind them based on what we have learned about the characters. The use of the music in some of the scenes was just icing on the cake for me. This might be (if memory serves me right) my favorite Australian film up to this day. A really new and fresh take take on this type of movies that revolves around a small-time modern-day criminal family.