|Starring||Guy Pearce, Jacki Weaver, Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn|
|83rd Academy Awards|
Animal Kingdom is a 2010 Australian crime drama written and directed by David Michôd, and starring Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Guy Pearce, Luke Ford, Sullivan Stapleton, Jacki Weaver and James Frecheville. Michôd's script was inspired by the Pettingill family of Melbourne, Australia, who in 1988 saw the acquittal of Trevor Pettingill in the murder of two Victoria police officers. The film received several awards and nominations with Weaver receiving multiple awards for her performance, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Despite being no saint herself, Julia Cody has shielded her seventeen year old son, Joshua "J" Cody, from her Melbourne-based criminal relatives who they have not seen in years. After Julia dies in front of J's eyes from a self-inflicted heroin overdose, J, who is slightly detached from life, feels he has no choice but to contact his maternal grandmother, Janine "Smurf" Cody, the family matriarch, for a place to live. Smurf rules the family with a borderline incestuous love over her three sons, the quietly menacing Andrew "Pope" Cody, the hyperactive Craig Cody, and the barely of age Darren Cody. Pope and his best friend, Barry "Baz" Brown, are armed robbers, with Darren their up and coming apprentice, while Craig is a mid level drug dealer. Melbourne's Armed Robbery Squad is after specifically Pope, who is hiding out. But when the standoff between the Codys and the Armed Robbery Squad is brought up a notch, an all out war ensues, with some casualties and J caught in the middle. The only grounding in J's life is his girlfriend, Nicky Henry. With those casualties comes an investigation by Homicide Detective Senior Sergeant Nathan Leckie, who knows the Codys are involved in some of those deaths. As Leckie tries to get J on his side, J has to figure out how best to get himself out from the middle, where he trusts neither side. J also wants to figure out how to exact what he considers justice in an all around bad situation.