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Animal Kingdom

Sat 16 April 2011 // 15:00
Sun 17 April 2011 // 20:00
Mon 18 April 2011 // 20:00
Tue 19 April 2011 // 20:00
Wed 20 April 2011 // 20:00

(Sat 16th 3pm, Sunday 17th to Weds 20th / 8pm / £5/4/3)

(David Michod / 2010 / Australia / 113 minutes / 35mm / certificate 18)
Animal Kingdom is a well-scripted engaging and ambitious cops and robbers drama. It is refreshing for its cinematic quality, genuinely gritty and with moody and expressive shots and palpable macho-driven on-screen chemistry. It won Sundance World Cinema prize last year and is also up for performance awards in 2011...
The criminal underworld in Melbourne is run by the Cody family, a violent bunch of wild-card armed-robbers headed by the eldest brother Pope (a psychotic) played by Ben Mendelsohn, and his equally chilling and emotionless mother Smurf (Jackie Weaver). The film gains access to the gangster nest via teen just 17 orphan, J (non-professional actor James Frecheville), whose mother ODs and his grandmother, Smurf, invites him in to live amongst his four Uncles, the Cody brothers.

The Uncles are distinctive type-characters, and J becomes unwittingly involved in their struggles with each other and the police. The strong arm of the law is characterised in Detective Leckie (Guy Pearce), a grey monotone cop who gives nothing away except his belief that the family will crumble with or without the incompetent efforts of the police.

The pace is slow burning action, but at the centre of it all is J. Passive, and an unknown quantity, unrevealed to us and the Cody family busy with their own violent problems. But what kind of man is J becoming, and how will it all play out for him?