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Little Fish

Year: 2005
Director: Rowan Woods
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving, Martin Henderson, Noni Hazelhurst, Lisa McCune, Susie Porter, Linda Cropper, Dustin Nguyen
Rowan Woods' long-awaited follow up to The Boys was one of the most anticipated films of the year, and with good reason, being not only a Woods effort, but having bought one of Australia's biggest international stars in Cate Blanchett home to work on a film for the first time in years.

Set among former drug addicts and dealers in Sydney's Cabramatta, it has some flaws, and they are these; there is a story behind the conversations and scenes we see up until halfway through the film. The characters have a history and backstories that we know weigh in on what's happening to them now (in fact, they comprise most of the story).

And that's great, but at a certain point you have to (with varying degrees of obtuseness) say to the audience 'look, this is why this person is doing this and reacting like this to that person'. For all the knowing stares and hinted-at past agonies, Little Fish never quite does that fully enough for you to understand who everyone is and what's going on.

As well, after watching an emotional personal drama for three quarters of the film, it suddenly turns into a thriller as the impending deal goes down.

But the performances are top notch from a bevy of Australia's biggest and brightest - especially from Blanchett, who brings a sense of unusual yet natural movement to her role that epitomises the acting craft to me.

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