By : Chris Tribbey | Posted: 24 Jan 2011
On the cover of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Animal Kingdom disc, a newspaper review praises the gritty crime film as “An Australian answer to Goodfellas.”
Actress Jacki Weaver (Summer Coda, Three Blind Mice) disagrees.
“I think Goodfellas is more glamorous,” the Australian actress said. “Ours is darker, scary, more sordid.”
The 2010 film sees a young man (played by new actor James Frecheville) thrown into the bloody Melbourne underworld after the death of his mother. He’s placed in the care of his grandmother (Weaver), who oversees a family gang whose bloodlust rivals anything American gangs can muster.
The recently released DVD ($28.95) and Blu-ray ($34.95) both include a commentary and a making-of featurette with the film’s stars.
Director David Michôd, who marks Animal Kingdom as his first at the helm for a feature film, had sent the script to Weaver several years earlier, and Weaver said the film would be the first of many successes for Michôd.
“He’s got a great future ahead of him,” she said. “He’s a born storyteller, and he’s not a puppeteer. He had a vision with this movie, but he collaborated with us too.”
Animal Kingdom features Ben Mendelsohn (Knowing, Australia), Joel Edgerton (King Arthur, Smokin’ Aces) and Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) among its cast members, and Weaver points to one in particular as driving the film’s dark feel.
“Ben Mendelsohn is extraordinary,” Weaver said. She worked with Mendelsohn on the 1996 comedy Cosi, and can now safely say he has “a chameleon nature.” “Here he’s got such menace and danger to him.”