Sundance Film Festival follow up: ANIMAL KINGDOM

When you say the words, crime family, I doubt if anything besides THE GODFATHER springs to mind. That’s why when writer/director David Michôd made ANIMAL KINGDOM, his film about the downfall of an Australian crime family, he wisely avoided the epic romance of the Corleones and veered sharply towards the naturalistic. While there’s a lot at stake for the Cody family, the film is, at its heart, a family drama, equipped with all the button-pushing and sly manipulations therein. Well-balanced and perfectly paced, ANIMAL KINGDOM allows you to see the everyday tedium of living a life of crime. What other crime drama has the balls to risk slowing down its heart-pounding pace to do that?

Though Michôd has other directing and writing creds to his name (he co-wrote the Grand Jury Prize-nominated HESHER), ANIMAL KINGDOM is his feature-length narrative debut, and his obvious confidence as a director did not go unnoticed at the festival where his film was not only a crowd favorite, but won the Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema.

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.