Tag Archives: Ben Mendelsohn

Animal Kingdom

Hardhearted, ominous, violent, and nail-biting, Animal Kingdom is a distinctive distillation of a well-worn genre; a brooding, unrelenting character study about uncaged beasts; and a grim rites-of-passage Shakespearean drama with an atmosphere of lethal portent and malignancy. Skilfully lit and edited with low-key performances, it’s a contemplative policer from down under with a high startlement quotient, marrying heightened emotionality with cool contemporary style.

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The Place Beyond the Pines

Ambitious, thought-provoking, unwieldy, and frustratingly disjointed, The Place Beyond the Pines is a daring art piece about the sins of the father. With a vivid opening tracking shot, director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) announces that he’s working on a larger canvas. As it goes, The Place Beyond the Pines is an ultimately unsatisfying three-act drama spanning multiple generations.

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