ANIMAL KINGDOM Wednesday 21 September, 2011

This film excellently ruined Air Supply’s All Out of Love. You’ll never listen to that song the same way again.

What are your expectations when the prospect of watching an Australian film comes rumbling toward you? I have to admit that my expectations were not high. I’ve often found recommendations of Aussie films a little patronising…it feels like they have the words ‘for an Aussie film’ missing after the ‘it’s really good’.  Mainly I feel this because it is seldom that they are really good.  Animal Kingdom has very powerfully forced me to eat my words, some of my teeth and half a pint of blood though.

I’ll not lower my expectations again when I sit down for a dose of antipodean cinema (Aussie directors beware).

This is a very good film. It is chilling in places, tense in others and funny in parts.  More than anything, though, this film is a showcase for a writer/director (David Michod) very much in control of his craft. The performances and the dialogue are all pitch perfect and the sly stylistic nods to wildlife documentaries are a nice touch.

Animal Kingdom is a film that will pin you to your seat and not release you until it sees fit no matter how much you squirm…and you will squirm.


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