Animal Kingdom, the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury winner, is now playing on 39 of the nation's screens. Let that be 39 steps closer to an Oscar nomination for Jacki Weaver; it could happen if Academy members actually see the acclaimed crime thriller. But let’s not jump ahead of the narrative. An Oscar nomination would be a deserving climax, but it’s not exactly a prologue. If Animal Kingdom's confident storytelling teaches us anything, it’s to stay focused and earn your dramatic developments...
Not all of my "best in show" columns at Tribeca can necessarily double as awards season FYC but this one isn 't subtle about that particular agenda. Awards traction is tricky for people who aren't big (U.S.) stars, especially in foreign born films, so why not start early?
I was a bit concerned about being too spoilery in tone (if not in plot) but then I remembered that the film's trailer and ad campaign are already relying heavily on the visibly underlined raves about Weaver's not-so-very-nice momster. And, hey, even if you know details about each character going in, the plot will still twist and turn in organic but surprising ways while you're watching. Good movie.
Is this playing anywhere near you?