News & commentary

Dec 12, 2010

King of the jungle: Animal Kingdom dominates AFI Awards

Luke Buckmaster — Writer, Critic and The Daily Review Journalist

Luke Buckmaster

Writer, Critic and The Daily Review Journalist

Animal Kingdom

Writer/director David Michod’s Melbourne-set crime drama Animal Kingdom ruled the roost last night at the 2010 Australian Film Institute Awards, winning 10 gongs from a record 18 nominations.

The result surprised nobody, other than perhaps those who thought it might’ve won a couple more awards given the tsunami of Animal Kingdom acclaim that’s been flooding the industry since the film’s premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

It won all the major awards: Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Lead Actor (Ben Mendelsohn) and Best Lead Actress (Jacki Weaver).

Mendelsohn’s career-high performance deserved – no, demanded – AFI recognition, but unlike his three competitors (James Frecheville for Animal Kingdom, Brendan Cowell for Beneath Hill 60 and Clive Owen for The Boys are Back) Mendelsohn wasn’t cast as the film’s protagonist (that was Frecheville) so he arguably should have been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category, which was won by another Animal Kingdom star, Joel Edgerton.

Jacki Weaver, who last won an AFI in 1976 for Best Supporting Actress in Caddie, accepted her award via videolink from Sydney, where she is currently performing in the Sydney Theatre Company production Uncle Vanya.

‘When I was young and green I used to think awards didn’t mean that much but now that I’m not young and green, but quite ripe, I love getting prizes,’ she said.

‘It’s wonderful to be reassured that you haven’t been barking up the wrong tree for 48 years in your choice of career, and it’s nice to have it affirmed that you’re still relevant.’

Other winners include writer/director Stuart Beattie (Best Adapted Screenplay for Tomorrow, When the War Began), Deborah Mailman (Best Supporting Actress, Bran Nue Dae) and Sam Worthington (International Award for Best Actor, Avatar).

Visit the AFI website for the full list of results.


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5 thoughts on “King of the jungle: Animal Kingdom dominates AFI Awards

  1. Jacki Weaver snags Golden Globe nod; three other Aussies nominated – Cinetology

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  2. Animal Kingdom dominates AFI Awards :

    […] Read the original post: Animal Kingdom dominates AFI Awards […]

  3. Jane Doe

    @j1mjaman – I saw Ben Mendelsohn’s acceptance speech on the telly – I think it was the first award of the night, so maybe you missed the start?

    Either he didn’t think he would win, or he decided to make it *look* like he didn’t think he would win . . . or he is just crap at public speaking (if someone hasn’t written a script for him). Don’t get me wrong, I totally adore him and think he is one of the greatest actors of the last couple of decades, but he was really lost for words on the night.

  4. j1mjaman


  5. Tweets that mention King of the jungle: Animal Kingdom dominates AFI Awards – Cinetology --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, Bob Gosford. Bob Gosford said: But can only see it on DVD! Re-run please RT @crikey_news: Animal Kingdom ruled the roost at AFI Awards-Luke Buckmaster […]

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