Title: Animal Kingdom
Director/Writer: David Michôd
Music: Antony Partos
Cinematography: Adam Arkapaw
An earthy story of how a LION KING is born in an Australian pusher family. I think it is a brave film in spite of its comfortless representation.
The film is surrounded by a sullen emotion since its very beginning, a young boy was watching the TV while while his dead mother was lying beside him in the sofa. The instant feeling was that this boy must be exceptional in some ways. Then we witnessed the downhill of a maternal criminal family, until the final moment (literally in the end), I could be relieved to see the young stud has metamorphosed to be the new backbone of the family (otherwise the film would be so depressed).
Writer and the first-time director David Michod actually did a great job, the thriller tension is excellently built, though the camera work is to some extent biased toward unwieldiness, which creates some uneasiness for spectators. The score is repetitious each time the suspenseful moments are near (with an unimaginative melody).
The film began as a Sundance winner, and swept 2010 Australian Film Institute Awards too, and now buzz for Jacki Weaver’s coming Oscar nomination is strong, I do adore her performance and I think she deserves an nomination (not my win though), especially the sharp tenacity and cruelness under her sweet voice, also the mother fixation between her and her sons is well exposed. Ben Mendelsohn deserves some recognition as well as the creepy and vicious uncle; as for the new-comer James Frecheville, his performance is comparatively prosaic, I cannot sense the changeover of his character, which is a major disappointment for me.
It’s a brave Aussie indie film and does add some fresh air into the over-crowded gangster/police thriller genre, good luck in the Oscars (not a main contender, but a supporting actress and a screenplay nomination should be highly possible)!