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The Animal Kingdom film image; close on serious father and son

The Animal Kingdom

Le règne animal

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In Thomas Cailley’s acclaimed dystopian drama, François and sixteen-year-old son Émile are doing their best to hold it together after their wife/mom has succumbed to a virus sweeping across Europe, a virus in which the victims take on the physical characteristics of animals. When Émile (Paul Kircher) realizes he too is infected, his forays into the nearby woods grow longer, and he establishes a bond with an initially suspicious bird-man, even as he tries to hide his transformation from his father and his classmates.

Nominated for 12 César (French Oscar) awards — one more than Anatomy of a Fall The Animal Kingdom is a rites-of-passage teen movie more than it’s an X-Men sci-fi fantasy. Which is not to say that the film’s make up and digital fx are anything less than eye-catching; just that they’re even more impressive for the humanity that remains vested in the relationships and drama. It’s a strange but compelling concoction, a walk on the wild side…

The director is willing to risk the ridiculous en route to the emotional truths he seeks. Stumble even for a moment, and the whole movie could feel silly, which is what makes the fact that it works all the more remarkable.

Peter Debruge, Variety.

Original and striking.

Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter

Director

Thomas Cailley

Cast

Romain Duris, Paul Kircher, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Tom Mercier, Billie Blain

Credits
Country of Origin

France

Year

2023

Language

In French with English subtitles

19+
130 min
Nord-Ouest Films, France 2 Cinema, Artemis Productions, Shelter, StudioCanal

Book Tickets

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Credits

Producer

Pierre Guyard

Screenwriter

Thomas Cailley, Pauline Munier

Cinematography

David Cailley

Editor

Lilian Corbeille

Original Music

Andrea Laszlo De Simone

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