Little Fish (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/07/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 114 mins

Engaging, intelligent drama from the director of The Boys, with strong performances and impressive photography throughout.

What's it all about?
Cate Blanchett stars as Tracy Heart, a recovering drug addict hoping to start her own video shop business in Little Saigon (Sydney's Vietnamese district). When the bank turns down her loan she struggles to come up with the money she needs and gets drawn into a get-rich-quick scheme devised by her one-legged ne'er-do-well brother Ray (Martin Henderson) and her Vietnamese ex, Johnny (Dustin Nguyen).

As if that wasn't bad enough, Tracy also has problems trying to straighten out her junkie stepdad Lionel (Hugo Weaving), whose source of free drugs is drying up now that his lover-stroke-dealer (Sam Neill) is retiring.

The Good
The title refers to both the characters (little fish in a big pond) and to blue heroin fixes that come in fish-shaped soy sauce containers. The script is complex and intelligent, giving the audience a certain amount of work to do in terms of working out how all the characters are connected.

Blanchett is superb as Tracy, a recognisable and believable character attempting to put her past behind her. As a result, the bank loan scenes are painful to watch because we can acutely feel her desperation and her hopes for her future slipping away, just as we're terrified for her later on when we sense her being tempted back into drug use.

The Great
The supporting cast are excellent. Neill brings a subtle air of menace to his role as Bradley The Jockey Thompson and Weaving is practically unrecognisable as a bearded ex-rocker type. Henderson is good too, although he's occasionally out-acted by his prosthetic leg.

In addition, the film is beautifully shot, courtesy of cinematographer Danny Ruhlmann and Woods makes good use of his unusual Sydney locations.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is an engaging, well written and frequently moving drama with strong performances from its talented cast. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 18/10/2017 23:06

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