Little Fish (DVD Review)1 Mar, 2006 By: Brendan Howard
Prebook 3/14/06; Street 4/11/06
Star Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Sam Neill, Martin Henderson.
Little Fish is one of those all-too-common cinematic tales of reformed drug users, lying drug dealers, dangerous theft and terrible family trauma. Blessedly, this one never develops into total tragedy.
Academy Award winner Blanchett gets to use her real accent as Tracy, an ex-junkie in Australia who's trying to start a business after four years of sobriety and a responsible stint as a clerk in a Vietnamese video store. At the same time, her father (also Australian Weaving) is wrestling with the loss of his free heroin fix and long-time lover (Neill). Tracy's one-legged brother is brokering a drug deal with a guy who's double-crossing a retiring dealer. His partner is Tracy's former boyfriend (“21 Jump Street's” Dustin Nguyen), who says he's given up drug-dealing and has a job as a stock broker. Viewers can imagine this scenario developing into a bloody mess for everyone concerned. Yes, there is blood in the end, but also a gentle final scene that offers the possibility of happiness for the survivors.
The best part is that so much of the back story is revealed through small comments, facial expressions and little objects. Flawless performances by everyone, especially Blanchett, make what could be a boring art-house exercise into a story of broken people just as captivating as any Oscar winner.
Blanchett's face on the cover is a selling point, plus Weaving out of his “Matrix” Agent Smith role, will draw viewers. This is a top-notch film that will appeal to any drama fan.