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Movie Review: Little Fish

Alternate Title: Heroin vs. Heroine

Story: Stories about addiction are seldom uplifting and this Australian film is no exception. What it has going for it is exceptional performances. Other than that it is hard to watch the addicts, ex-addicts and their surrounding family members all try to cope with the personality type that couples an addiction.

Director Rowan Woods and writer Jacqueline Perske throw us headfirst into the characters' lives and lies. Thirty two year old video store manager Tracy has been clean for four years. Her life now consists of a swim, a drive to work by her mother so that she can't go near anyplace that sells drugs, work, home and sleep. She is surrounded by family and friends who are either on drugs or who are trying to kick the habit. She is drowning in her existence. When she attempts to change her life it does not go well. Without revealing any more of the plot suffice it to say it does not have a Hollywood ending.

Acting: My fondness for Cate Blanchett was indeed tested in this film. It is watchable because she is so very exceptional. She is like a chameleon and is always convincing in her performances. Hugo Weaving as her step father is terrific. The entire supporting cast holds their own.

Predilection: I like Cate Blanchett.

Critters: None

Soundtrack: There are many Vietnamese tunes because the locale is the Little Saigon area outside of Sydney.

Opening Titles: White type superimposed over an introduction to Tracy's daily life.

Theater Audience: I met a woman in the Ladies room before the movie started. She inquired as to what film I was going to see. After telling her my movie choice she asked what it was about. She was delighted to hear it was about heroin addicts since she was writing a book about that very subject. Coincidence or wack-job, you say? So she decided not to go see Firewall and picked Little Fish instead. I also told her Firewall would be on TV in a few months anyway,

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Junkies make me squirm.

Drift Factor: I started to look at my watch after an hour.

Predictability Level: I didn't much care what happened to anyone but Tracy.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: The small screen is fine for this one. I think Cate Blanchett is the finest female actor today. For some of her other roles try renting: The Aviator, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,Veronica Guerin, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Heaven, The Shipping News, Charlotte Gray, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Bandits, The Gift, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Pushing Tin, An Ideal Husband, Elizabeth, Oscar and Lucinda.

Length: Under two hours