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Animal Kingdom

February 27, 2011

So, this isn’t really meant to count as a review, but I just needed a place to get my thoughts down for it.

Just finished watching Animal Kingdom about an hour ago and have finally managed to pull myself together again.  Literally spent a good half hour just sobbing on the couch.  It’s strange, I guess I knew what it was about going into it but I don’t think I realised how close to home it would all hit.

This is a hard one to write about because, legally, I don’t know what I really want to commit to the interwebs about people that aren’t me, so I’m going to presume that those of you reading this know some of my back story to join the dots together.  Even if you don’t, you can probably work it out.

Basically I just feel like I watched the first twenty years of my life played out onscreen with the main character of J in my place.  I mean, not literally all of it, like the witness protection parts and stuff, but a lot of the goings on and the family dynamics.  And it’s so strange – it’s like you think you’re free of something, like I walked away from that whole side of my family when I was twenty and thought I was fully past it and then, suddenly, one single film can literally punch you int he stomach and just break you.  It took everything I had not to throw up at the end of it.  To be honest, I’m still trying not to.

I guess I thought I was was free from all of that, all of the feelings and the guilt and the emotions and the hurt and then the way I’m feeling now is just shell-shocked.  I didn’t even know I could feel like this.  It scares me.  The last time a movie made me feel like this was Requiem For A Dream, for similarly obvious reasons.

Sorry if this is rambling, I still don’t really know how to explain how I feel about it.  I’m just more comfortable talking about it here rather than dumping it onto someone.  But sweet Jesus that was hard.  I’m off to see Rabbit Hole tonight and I never thought I’d be looking forward to it for some light relief, but there you go.

Jacki Weaver was amazing, am so glad she got the Oscar nomination for it – such a masterful performance.  If you turned around and told me that she spent the last twelve months studying my grandmother for it, I wouldn’t be surprised.

The saddest part is that no one is talking about how amazing James Frecheville is in as the kid caught up in the middle of it.  It’s hard, because I don’t think I can truly separate my personal feelings about his performance as a performance versus him recreating my exact emotional life, but he’s truly an actor to watch.  Kid has mad skills.  For two hours I literally felt like I was in the middle of the movie, it was suffocating, I could barely even breathe.

I guess I just don’t want to ever feel like that again, I don’t want to lack that control.  At least it reminds me that I’m proud of myself for being able to walk away from something like that and that I was strong enough to.  Most people who get caught up in the same thing never find a way out.  The way I grew up taught me how to find that within myself and to be able to stand up for myself and for what I believe in.  Sometimes I think it made me cold as well, hard even, but at least it taught me how to survive and how to be strong.  And I’m always grateful that I have that there for other people to lean on.  And to always have unwavering faith in myself.  That’s a nice thing to have.

Anyways, I’m off to see light-hearted family comedy Rabbit Hole now, so I’ll be back later with my final thoughts on the 2011 Oscars.  Looks like I’ll be bowing out at 12/15 of the major nominated movies, which is pretty good all things considered..

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