Set in the Little Saigon district outside of Sydney, a woman (Blanchett) trying to escape her past becomes embroiled in a drug deal.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ray
Noni Hazlehurst ...
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Mai
Linda Cropper ...
Denise
Daniela Farinacci ...
Donna
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Khiem
Anh Do ...
Tran
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Mingh
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Storyline

In Sydney, Tracey Heart is a thirty-two years old manager of a video shop ex-addicted in heroin and clean for four years. She is trying to raise forty thousand dollars to buy a shop for computer games on the next door of the rental and become partner of her boss, but based on her negative records, the banks deny the loan. Tracey takes care of her junkie stepfather Lionel Dawson, unsuccessfully trying to make him quit his heroin habit. When her former boy-friend Jonny returns from Vancouver, Tracey's mother Janelle fears a fall of Tracey, while she blames Jonny for the car accident where her son Ray lost one leg. When Ray and Jonny associate to Moss, the assistant of the retired criminal boss Bradley 'The Jockey' Thompson, in drug dealing, Tracey is convinced by Jonny to join them and raise the necessary money for her business along the weekend. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story about families. About lies. And about learning to love again. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug content and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

8 September 2005 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Dag katan  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$350,085 (Australia) (9 September 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A rare glimpse of Hugo Weaving driving a car; even if it is just backing it out of a driveway. He has never owned a driver's license because of his epilepsy. You can see it was him because of his reflection in the side mirror. See more »

Quotes

Tracy Heart: The past is right here. It's right here.
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Connections

Features Farscape (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Flame Trees
Written by Don Walker & Steve Prestwich
Performed by The Sacred Heart School Choir, Cabramatta
Linda Mizzi, Director, Soloists: Andrew Doan & Cindy Huynh
Produced & Arranged by Anthony Partos & Andrew Lancaster
Engineered by Wayne Connolly & Andrew Lancaster
Published by Palomarr Pty Ltd/Sony/ATV Music Publishing Australia & BigBang Publishing Pty Ltd
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User Reviews

 
Some little fish get caught, some get clean away
10 September 2005 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Rowan Woods' previous film, "The Boys" (1997) had a certain detachment as he examined the psychology of the perpetrators of a particularly nasty crime - watching it was like looking at bugs through a microscope, though it did feature a truly brilliant performance by David Wenham. In this film from a script by Jacqueline Perske he takes a warmer and certainly a lighter look at some rather unprepossessing people living in the south-western suburbs of Sydney - specifically Cabramatta.

Tracey is a former heroin addict, clean for the last four years but with a less than perfect credit record, who is trying to buy a share in the video shop she is working in so she can expand into the internet gaming business (hey, isn't that illegal in Australia?). Her friend Lionel, a former football star and ex-boyfriend of her mother's is still an addict. As she tries unsuccessfully to raise money from some almost comically reluctant financiers she become involved in looking after Lionel, who seems to have a rather close relationship with Jockey, a local hoodlum and drug dealer and his sidekick Steve. Her Vietnamese-Australian ex-boyfriend Johnny suddenly arrives on the scene after four years away and is soon involved in a drug deal with her one-legged (and rather stupid) brother Ray. The "Little Fish" of the title turn out to be those little plastic fish than come with soy sauce inside them in East Asian restaurants, recycled to contain amphetamines, but it could equally describe most of the characters.

It's all very complicated and to be honest the plot is a bit of a monkey puzzle – I have the feeling there might be a few holes in it - but the film is really about the struggle to climb out of the mire. Some make it, others don't; often those who succeed owe their success to chance, others who fail do so despite every effort. Cate Blanchett as Tracey is as good as she has ever been. You may think she is a little genteel for the role, but blot out your memories of "Elizabeth" and she is just fine. Hugo Weaving as Lionel gives a pretty well definitive portrait of a burnt-out heroin addict. Sam Neil as the ruthless Jockey is a little less suave than usual, though his clothes are tailor made and his car a Jaguar. Noni Hazelhurst is all heart as mother (Heart is her surname) and Dustin Nguyen as Johnny, despite the dodgy accent, gets away with playing a person about 10 years younger than he actually is. Martin Henderson is a wonderful dumb Ray.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the film is the up-close and personal photography (just about every scene looks like it was done with a hand-held camera) combined with some very imaginative fade-in and fade-out. The result is so atmospheric I almost felt the rain and smelled Hugo's lack of aftershave. More to the point, I felt the characters' moods. It was almost like being inside the movie. I very much liked the other recent Oz movie "Look Both Ways" which I saw two weeks ago. It also featured some innovative techniques, but this is a far more sophisticated piece of work.


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