July 2nd, 2010


not a Disney movie

Just went to see Animal Kingdom which was bloody brilliant! Loosely based around a large Melbourne family - the Pettingills - who were involved in everything from drug dealing to armed robbery in Melbourne in the 80s and early 90s, at a time when parts of the Victorian police were barely distinguishable from the criminals they were pursuing. Most infamously the family was responsible for the execution of two police officers in what's known as the Walsh Street killings

Aussies may go "oh not not another Underbelly", but this movie is not a story about crime as much as it's the story of a fucked up family, told through a 17 year old cousin who comes to live with them after his mother dies.

It's a fantastic thriller, and the sense of foreboding throughout means you feel dread at what may happen in every scene. It plays against the genre by being a quiet film - it concentrates on the little moments, and during the big confrontations is almost silent. The acting is brilliant - Ben Mendelsohn is one of the scariest characters you'll ever meet, and he hardly even raises his voice. Jackie Weaver as the matriarch ends up stealing the movie.

It won the World Cinema Jury prize at Sundance this year, and opens in the US in August. If you like stories about fucked up brothers living on the wrong side of the law, go see it.