Animal Kingdom is a riveting insight into a 1980’s Australian crime family. The film trails a teenage boy named Joshua ‘J’ Cody (Frencheville). Due to unfortunate family circumstances J moves in with his grandmother and mentally unhinged uncles.
New comer James Frencheville portrays the slow & vulnerable teenager, flawlessly. His pensive dopey expressions are approriate enough to gain sympathy without rendering him useless. Jacki Weaver’s performance as the grandmother is also absolutely amazing. Her sweet, doting, polite characteristics can also be seen as eerily threatening as the plot progresses.
The one scene I can’t seem to shake, is when J is on the run from his uncle and attempts to get his girlfriend’s family out of their house. To avoid alarming them for their own safety, he simply asks for a lift to the shops. As the family bustles around to leave, the urgency in J’s eyes enclosed by his calm demeanour was insanely nerve racking. I was so intensely enveloped in the scene I began chewing on my hair without even realising it. Not many films have ever caused me to chew on anything other than popcorn. Two thumbs up!