Movie review / ‘Only the Animals’ (MA)

Share Canberra's trusted news:
“Only the Animals”… love, betrayal, emotional and physical brutality, passion, adultery, truth, lies, coincidence and implausible credibility.

THE foundation of every narrative film is the screenplay. 

French director Dominik Moll co-operated with Giles Marchand in writing “Only the Animals”. 

Which of them devised which moment became irrelevant once the result of their collaboration reached the screen. 

Is what they contrived with “Only the Animals” worth watching? You bet it is. 

Why do I have the gall to predict your reaction? 

Because time, place, motive and behaviour in this economically-populated drama of adultery, murder, criminality and mystery fit together with tantalising precision that begins with a Sierra Leone farmer riding his bike to market carrying a goat on his back and ends with a high-country French farmer foiled but not the loser in an online scam explained in delicate detail.

Is it great cinema? 

How do you assess greatness? Some movies get it in the moment of their conception in the writer’s mind. Some movies create it in the director and the cast’s realisation of putting it on the screen. Some have messages that we can’t ignore. Or can’t accept. 

Others have the benefit of collective serendipity. We love movies for their variety and their challenges to our intelligence. And our spirits.

Michel (Denis Ménochet) and Alice (Laure Calamy) run a farm. The film gradually explains their connections with fellow farmer Joseph (Damien Bonnard), Evelyne (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi), whose second home is in the area, young waitress Marion (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) and Armand (Guy Roger “Bibisse” N’Drin), who lives half a world away in Africa.

“Only the Animals” is a thriller, a murder mystery, an emotional roller-coaster of love, betrayal, emotional and physical brutality, passion, adultery, truth, lies, coincidence and implausible credibility. 

I enjoyed it.

At Palace Electric

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

"Only the Animals" (MA) *** and a half
Previous articleCanberrans free of quarantine after Sydney restrictions lifted
Next articleQueanbeyan police chase ends in a crash
Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

Leave a Reply