THREE DOLLARS is the story of Eddie, an honest, compassionate man who finds himself with a wife, a child, and three dollars. Eddie's world revolves around the three women in his life: his ...
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THREE DOLLARS is the story of Eddie, an honest, compassionate man who finds himself with a wife, a child, and three dollars. Eddie's world revolves around the three women in his life: his brilliant wife Tanya, a passionate academic, their six year old daughter Abby, who heightens the stakes on every decision Eddie makes, and his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful, privileged Amanda, who re-appears in his life with mathematical certainty every nine and a half years. Surviving with a blend of self-depreciating wit, spirited sensitivity and a big heart, his life is rich with the pleasures and pains of love, family, friendship and marriage. But with only three dollars to his name Eddie will be faced with a choice that will change the direction of his life forever.Written by
I so wanted to be positive about this film, but to be honest I cannot. Its just one of those films which leaves you, ultimately, totally dissatisfied. Just what was it all about? Its a film where nothing happens but at the same time so much. Its unrelenting in its depressive 'story' - an ordinary man, married with a child and who has a fairly successful job, who, by the end, is forced to go through the garbage bins on the streets of Melbourne to try and secure food for him and his family.
Its the story of the downward spiral for a man who has scruples and where every character lies (or at best denies the truth)in some form or other. But just how much can you stand watching a man lose his job, watch his wife lose her job and then teeter on the edge of clinical depression, experience the first epileptic fit of his young daughter, know that his father is seriously ill and then witness his ultimate degradation of his experience of street-living? It ain't easy! Especially when the film runs for nearly 2 hours.
The saving grace of the film is the performances. David Wenham, possibly Australia's best, gives a superbly understated performance. No histrionics to be seen - simply a man who in some ways is simply defeated by circumstance - a wife, a child, a mortgage, a job in the Public Sector that is under threat - and a sense of values that are in some ways alien to modern society. There was also always a sense of underlying humour in his character, which helped, in parts at least, to lighten the darkness of the film. Frances O'Connor as his wife provides a spunky supportive role. And Robert Menzies as down-and-out Nick is great for the short period he is on screen.
I was somewhat puzzled, however, by 'Last time I saw Amanda I had $3' and the role she had in Nick's life. 'We see each other every nine and a half years....' Quick maths point out that the characters are in their mid-30s, but not sure about the basic premise of introducing the character Amanda! A pointer to the development of his life? Maybe. Emphasising the differences between them? Maybe. But take her and all references to her, and I don;t think that it would have had much impact on the film.
Ultimately, very disappointing - I gave it 5 for the performances.
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