Australia has been on fire these last few years with films that have been getting not only critical success but commercial success as well, which is a far cry from 5 years ago when many were saying they had fallen behind on the quality of films they were putting out compared to New Zealand.
Well, they must have heard that talk, as each year now seems to see Australia produce a film that people rate as one of the best films they’ve made in years and Animal Kingdom is one of those films that has been winning awards overseas and building up a buzz even in the New Zealand market. So when I was invited to a press screening I was keen to see if the film lived up to the hype.
The standout thing about this film was the acting, with some absolutely brilliant performances, especially from the mother of the criminal group who oozed a great mix of love and evil. Having a newcomer in the lead may have been seen as a strange choice, as his acting was almost stilted, but in the scope of the story it worked perfectly and if he has more depth than what was on show, then he could grow into a great actor in his own right.
The one issue I had with the film was with the story itself, especially with the ending which didn’t sit right with me. I thought it was a true story so I gave it some leeway, but after researching it for this review, I found out that it’s only roughly based on truth, which made the ending even more perplexing to me. However, it was still a really good film and deserves the praise it has received.
8.5 out of 10 from me!!!