The Monstrous Feminine – Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody

Dear Blog,

Janine ‘Smurf Cody is a character in the film ‘Animal Kingdom’ (2010, Dir. David Michod) played by Jacki Weaver.

Janine Cody - Animal Kingdom

Here is a clip of Janine Cody in all her glory –

I believe she fits Barbara Creed’s theory of ‘The Monstrous Feminine’ she is a manipulative, strong willed, sociopathic aged mother figure who uses her status to orchestrate her family into criminal activity. She has strong values as a mother and the film implies some almost incestual tendencies towards her sons.

At first glance the character is a sweet, kind and caring mother (she is the lioness of the family) but underneath all of that she is a sinister individual who is willing to do whatever it takes and more to look after her children(cubs).

“She [Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody] takes you by surprise, she seems quite a normal woman but after a while; you realise she is a sociopath and a psychopath and she has bred all these psychopath sons. It’s all the more chilling because she does seem kind of normal and everyday, even sweet”.

Animal Kingdom(2010) Blu Ray, Extras, Interview with Jacki Weaver.

I believe that Janine Cody fits the ‘amoral primeval mother’ guise that Barbara Creed wrote about, her entire existence is to protect and nurture her children, she ignores all sense of morality and is aware of her children’s dependency on drugs and the life of crime they lead, in fact she positively agrees with and supports it.

Throughout the film it is made clear that she would go to whatever lengths are necessary to defend her children, even if it means turning on other important people in her life.




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