Pulp Fiction discussion

Film Noir > Animal Kingdom 2010

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Nigel (new)

Nigel Bird (nigelbird) | 38 comments You have a pretty good idea of where you are within the first minutes of Animal Kingdom.

The credits appear over images of an armed robbery and the story opens with a young man sitting next to an unconscious lady. Deal Or No Deal’s on the box and it looks like a normal day in a boring life. Normal, that is, until the paramedics turn up and set to work on the woman who had OD’d on heroine.

The young man is Joshua Cody. He calls his estranged grandmother to ask for help with the funeral arrangements and ends up moving in with her.

Joshua’s mother kept him away from his extended family in the hope that he wouldn’t get mixed up in their crime syndicate of robbery and drug pushing.
Now that he’s in the arms of his Grandmother, Smurf, things don’t look good.

Smurf is a matriarchal lune. She has 4 crazy sons, 3 living at home and the craziest of them all, Pope, who’s in hiding. For the set-up, think Cody Jarrett in White Heat, here; it’s unlikely that the choice of name for the Animal Kingdom family is purely accidental.

The Cody family is in trouble because the lawless drug enforcers in police uniform are watching their every move in a bid to find Pope.

The film is stark. It’s often static and claustrophobic. The characters are brutally real and easy to get to know. There are no bells and whistles to distract from the story’s tension and uncomfortable quality. The performances are superb and the whole piece fits together like apple, sugar and pastry. Pope would have fitted well in to Blue Velvet and the main character Josh is played in a deadpan way that suggests the actor James Frecheville is going places (if he hasn’t already).

There’s no doubt that this is one to watch.

I’d also like to appeal to fans of Australian cinema to point me in the direction of more similar movies should there be many of them around.

message 2: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby | 510 comments Great review Nigel. With all the positivity surrounding this movie I always feel like I must have missed something when I didn't enjoy it so much.

I've seen some decent to good crime films from my adopted country recently. I hope you don't mind a list?

The Square
Kiss or Kill
Two Hands
The Interview

Oh, my mind has gone blank at 4. I'll be back.

message 3: by Michael, Anti-Hero (last edited Nov 17, 2012 12:39PM) (new)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 279 comments Mod
Yes!, a thousand times, yes! To 'The Square' one if the best Australian film noir movies around.

message 4: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby | 510 comments The Tender Hook has a really low imdb rating but i remember really enjoying it. It looks great too.

message 5: by Nigel (new)

Nigel Bird (nigelbird) | 38 comments I'm off to Lovefilm to add to my list.


And I've been thinking about it and reckon the main actor looks like a young Matt Dillon (not quite so clean or handsome, but there's something there).


message 6: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby | 510 comments Tender Hook may also be called The Boxer and The Bombshell btw.

message 7: by Mohammed (last edited Nov 28, 2012 11:41PM) (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 533 comments I saw this film last night thanks to this topic letting me know it existed. It was real good,bleak noir. Sick family that went to pieces in very noirish way. Pope was Jim Thompson sick! I liked the corrupt world in the story, corrupt cops killing like they were mob hitmen. I thought as weakness J was too quite sometimes we needed more inner monologue like early in the film.

message 8: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby | 510 comments Here's another one Nigel X.

message 9: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby | 510 comments Hey Nigel, how'd it going picking up these recommendations? Are they available? I have another one tonight, we just saw Backroads on TCM and it was an excellent crime film, possibly my favourite Aussie film so far.

message 10: by Mohammed (last edited Dec 03, 2012 12:20PM) (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 533 comments Toby me can you give me names to any good PI/detective and noir australian films you know of? I was really impressed by this film and want to dive into australian crime film genre.

Isnt there a one with Heath Ledger before he was big? Ed Brubaker criminal back pages had Aussie noir special one time.

message 11: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby | 510 comments Two Hands is the Heath Ledger movie, there may be another one but I haven't seen it if there is.

The rest of the movies I mentioned in posts 2, 6, 8 & 9 are good Aussie crime/noir.

Tender Hook very atmospheric, Backroads very simple yet unforgettable. Kiss or Kill is a perfect idea of a modern noir - a pair of lovers on the con have to flee the city and get inadvertently involved in a bigger criminal plot.

I can't say I've seen any PI movies but there's recently been adaptations of two Peter Temple books - Black Tide: A Jack Irish Thriller and Bad Debts - starring Guy Pearce as Jack Irish. I've been meaning to check if they're available to watch online actually.

message 12: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 533 comments Guy Pearce is a quality actor who happen to be one of my big favs so i will look for those adaptations.

message 13: by Nigel (new)

Nigel Bird (nigelbird) | 38 comments I've got some of the recommendations on my Lovefilm list and it looks all the better for it.

Last night I watched Snowtown. Oh my. I'm sure I picked it up from here. Anyway, that's brutal. It pushed me to the limit and probably crossed it - made me very uncomfortable at times with what looked like improvisations.

I wouldn't recommend it to anyone other than those of the hardest stomachs. I guess it might be a pleasure/pain thing, more pain for me. Glad I took it on though. Definitely not one for a happy Christmas.

message 14: by Tfitoby (new)

Tfitoby | 510 comments Oh Nigel that's tough if you weren't expecting it. I've heard it was based on true events. Either way there's nothing that could make me watch that movie. It sounds revolting. And I liked Irreversible.

back to top