|After his mother’s death, Josh (James Frecheville, left) goes to live with his grandmother (Jacki Weaver) and gets sucked into his criminal family’s violent world in “Animal Kingdom.”|
The title “Animal Kingdom” sounds like a film about survival of the fittest. And it is, except the animals are a dysfunctional family of Australian criminals in Melbourne who suck a quiet young lad named Josh (James Frecheville) into their world.
David Michod’s impressive, assured Aussie gangster drama begins with Josh sitting next to his mum, dying of a heroin overdose. He can’t quite focus on her because the exciting game show on the TV distracts him.
He eventually goes to live with his grandma Smurf (Jacki Weaver), the queen of criminal enablers whose three sons dabble in everything from drugs to robbery and murder.
“Animal Kingdom” is a stark drama reeking of toxic realism. Josh remains a chilling blank slate, and he is unable to guess the danger he’s in, or the danger he puts his new girlfriend (Laura Wheelright) in just by dating her. (Read more…)