Little Fish (Australia; 114 min.)

directed by: Rowan Woods
starring: Cate Blanchette; Hugo Weaving; Sam Neill
Little Fish
Michael says: "On a recent trip to New York City, Scot, Bruce and I went to see the Australian film LITTLE FISH starring Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving. Unfortunately, this intense little film was never released in Boston and is now coming out on DVD, and is hence, ineligible for Chlotrudis consideration. Both Blanchett and Weaving put in strong performances in this tale of a small circle of friends struggling with the effects of heroin addiction. Blanchett plays Tracy Heart, a young woman living with her mother and working in a video store while trying to stay clean after struggling with heroin addiction. While attempting to start her own internet café business, she finds it impossible to find a small business loan due to her checkered past. To make matters worse, her old boyfriend Jonny (Dustin Nguyen) returns to town. Their relationship ended tragically (along with her addiction) after a tragic accident that cost Tracy’s brother the use of his legs. Jonny’s reappearance brings Tracy’s former lifestyle strongly back to mind. Complicating things is Tracy’s friendship with Lionel (Hugo Weaving) a former football star who is still addicted. When Lionel, in desperate straits and in withdrawal, asks Tracy to score for him, her will is tested to the limits.

"LITTLE FISH is not your typical addiction film, eschewing many of the expected twists and turns, especially when it comes to the violence that hovers around the characters. In addition to the terrific turns by Blanchett and Weaving, Sam Neil is suitably as Brad, a retiring drug lord who also happens to be Lionel’s lover, and Noni Hazlehurst as Janelle, Tracy’s hard-working, single mom. Hazlehurst is the type of actress who rarely appears in American films, especially in dramatic roles: a middle-aged woman who is not a stunning beauty. Her performance is notably strong. The writing is notable in LITTLE FISH as well, and I appreciated the way the film leaves many of the relationships and backstory for the viewer to figure out on their own with just natural little clues interspersed throughout the story, leaving awkward exposition out of the film. It’s worth a rental. 4 cats."