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Little Fish


Stars: Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Sam Neill, Martin Henderson, Dustin Nguyen, Noni Hazlehurst

Director: Rowan Woods

Sordid and turgid, this Aussie study of drug-wrecked lives provides a better deal for its actors than the audience. Blanchett leads a strong cast as Tracy, an ex-addict living with her mother (Hazlehurst) in a Vietnamese-dominated Sydeny suburb.

Her life is thrown into twin turmoil, by the return from Canada of Jonny (Nguyen), responsible both for her addiction and the loss of her brother's (Henderson) leg in a car crash, and by her own failed attempts to get a bank loan and start her own business.

Also on her back is Lionel (a bearded Weaving), a gay ex-football star and latterly junkie. His supplier and one-time lover (Neill) is getting out of the business, and Lionel sees Tracy as a possible new source of dope.

All this sounds fascinating in concept, but is only marginally interesting in practice and has few highpoints, despite exceptional performances from Weaving and Hazlehurst.

Frequent flashback shots of Tracy as a girl by the seashore don't help.

David Quinlan

Australia 2005. UK Distributor: Tartan. Colour by Atlab.
114 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 17 Jul 2006