Little Fish
Little Fish film.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byRowan Woods
Written byJacquelin Perske
Produced byVincent Sheehan
Liz Watts
Richard Keddie
StarringCate Blanchett
Sam Neill
Hugo Weaving
Edited byAlexandre de Franceschi
John Scott
Distributed byIcon Film Distribution[1]
Release date
8 September 2005 (Australia)
Running time
114 minutes
LanguagesEnglish, Vietnamese

Little Fish is a 2005 Australian film directed by Rowan Woods and written by Jacquelin Perske. It was filmed in and around Sydney, in Cabramatta and in Fairfield. The film was developed and produced by Vincent Sheehan and Liz Watts of Porchlight Films, with Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton's production company Dirty Films receiving an Associate Producer credit.[2]

Little Fish was released on 8 September 2005 in Australia. It received positive reviews from critics.


Little Fish is about Tracy Heart (Cate Blanchett), a former heroin addict who is desperately trying to escape her past and achieve her goals and dreams. Tracy lives with her mother (Noni Hazlehurst) and brother Ray in the suburb of Cabramatta, Sydney, where heroin is readily available.

She is in need of money to become a partner in the video store that she works in, but her loan applications are repeatedly rejected by finance providers, as a result of her past criminal record, poor repayments of credit card debt, history of drug use and lack of collateral. Tracy lies to both her mother and her boss at the video store, pretending she has received the loan. The casual ways people lie to each other for convenience is one of the recurring themes of the movie.

Tracy is trying to help her drug addicted stepfather and former National Rugby League star Lionel Dawson (Hugo Weaving) to kick his heroin addiction. After a four-year absence in Vancouver, her former boyfriend Jonny Nguyen (Dustin Nguyen), also a former heroin addict, has come back into her life. Jonny, who now dresses in business suits, claims to have employment as a stockbroker at a large firm and suggests he may be able to obtain the money Tracy desires through share trading. The romance between Tracy and Jonny is rekindled.

Upon visiting Jonny's alleged workplace, Tracy discovers Jonny has lied to her and is not in fact employed as a stockbroker. Jonny has become involved in a drug deal with her brother Ray, and Tracy also chooses to become involved in the deal as she sees this as the only means of providing the finance she needs to become a partner in the video store.

Tracy, Ray, and Jonny set out to execute the deal, which ends in tragedy. Tracy's courage and deep love for those she cares about are notable in the climactic scenes of the film.




Little Fish received positive reviews from critics. The film has an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews.[3] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 77 (out of 100), based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4] Critics admired the film for its screenplay and the actors' performances. The critic Liz Braun said "Little Fish has beautifully understated performances and a script that emphasizes the mundane and the manipulative in the addict's world."[5] Owen Gleiberman from Entertainment Weekly praised it mostly for its acting performances, saying "The actors are terrific, especially Weaving, who plays bottoming out as a tragedy spiked with gallows humor, and Blanchett, who digs deep into the booby-trapped nature of recovery. The revelation, however, is Rowan Woods, a major filmmaker in the making."[6]


The film was nominated for 13 Australian Film Institute Awards in 2005, and won five awards including Best Actor (Hugo Weaving), Best Actress (Cate Blanchett), Best Supporting Actress (Noni Hazlehurst), and Best Editing.[7] It also won several Inside Film Awards, including Best Actress (Cate Blanchett) and Best Actor (Hugo Weaving).[8] Jacquelin Perske's screenplay won the Film Script category at the 2005 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.[9]

Box office

Little Fish grossed $2,719,751 at the box office in Australia.[10]

Home media

Little Fish was released on DVD a part of the Dendy Collection by Icon Entertainment. A Blu-ray edition was released in August 2010.


Cover versions of the Cold Chisel song "Flame Trees" appear more than once during the film and on the soundtrack. One version is sung by The Sacred Heart School Choir from Cabramatta, New South Wales,[11] the other by singer Sarah Blasko. The soundtrack also features original songs composed by Nathan Larson.

At the ARIA Music Awards of 2006 the soundtrack was nominated for ARIA Award for Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album.[12]

Track listing

  1. "Flame Trees" - Sarah Blasko
  2. "Little Fish Theme"
  3. "A Place in the Sun" - Hoodoo Gurus
  4. "Pool Love"
  5. "Con Mua Ha" - Mylinh Dinh
  6. "Half Speed Love"
  7. "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" - Bic Runga
  8. "I Can't Score For You"
  9. "Flame Trees" - The Sacred Heart School, Cabramatta
  10. "Little Fish Theme" (Redux)
  11. "Ban Toi" - The Enterprise Band featuring Hoang Son
  12. "Lionel Requiem"
  13. "End Credits"
  14. " Tinh Xot Xa Thoi".... Hong Anh Singer ( Le Quang)

See also


  1. ^ "Little Fish-Australian Box Office". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ "ANDREW UPTON". University of Sydney. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Little Fish". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  4. ^ "Little Fish Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  5. ^ Braun, Liz (24 February 2006). "'Little Fish' reels in an exceptional cast". Jam!. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  6. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (22 February 2006). "Little Fish". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  7. ^ "2005 Winners & Nominees". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Awards and Festival Selection for FFC - Financed Productions". Screen Australia. December 2005. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Little Fish". AustLit: Discover Australian Stories. Retrieved 20 September 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "Little Film (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  11. ^ Flame Trees
  12. ^ ARIA Award previous winners. "History Best Original Soundtrack, Cast or Show Album". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 July 2022.