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Little Fish

Everyone is hiding something.  

Year: 2005 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Little Fish

Director: Rowan Woods

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving

Some people's lives are unusually complicated, like 32-year-old Tracy Heart, played by the astounding Cate Blanchett. Having spent the last four years recovering from a heroin addiction and redeeming herself in the eyes of her mother, all Tracy wants is a brighter future, starting off with her own video shop. Unfortunately, her past refuses to disappear and emerges in a number of guises: the unexpected return of her ex-boyfriend, Jonny; her brother Ray gaining criminal aspirations; and the troubles of an old family friend and ex-football star, Lionel, creating friction. As if all this didn't make Tracy's dream of a better life seem hard enough, her hopes become tangled with those of criminal boss drug dealer and Lionel's ex-lover Bradley 'The Jockey' Thompson (Neill), leaving a life on the straight and narrow nigh on impossible.

Every morning before work Tracy swims to prepare herself for the day. But it would seem that she spends most of her life treading water, hoping not to sink and struggling to stay afloat. With constant setbacks, turning away from a honest path to self-fulfilment looks like the only way forward, making this a deeply compelling drama full of emotional tension. As always, Blanchett immerses herself completely in her character amazingly well. There is little doubt, however, that it is Weaving who ultimately makes this film. It is hard to believe from his sensational portrait of Lionel, a character exuding shame and failure, that this was the actor who stole the Matrix trilogy as the freaky Agent Smith.

For his second feature, director Rowan Woods again proves himself a master at creating a strong mood. Certainly this is very much the case, with him setting the feature in Cabramatta, a Sydney suburb nicknamed Little Saigon for its large Vietnamese population, as well as the heroin capital of Australia. The murky story Woods weaves bursts with apprehension and poignant strife with such an impressive stellar cast. Following the determined high strung heroine Tracy who is surrounded by temptation, you will definitely find yourself desperate to see Tracy swim to a more hopeful future.

Laura Sparshot

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)