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 in the Little Saigon area (Cabramatta) in Sydney, Australia, 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. This is one of the recurring themes of the movie, the casual ways people lie to each other for convenience.
Tracy is trying to help her drug addicted stepfather and former NRL star Lionel (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.Cate Blanchett as Tracy Louise Heart
Hugo Weaving as Lionel Dawson
Sam Neill as Brad "The Jockey" Thompson
Martin Henderson as Ray Heart
Noni Hazlehurst as Janelle Heart
Dustin Nguyen as Jonny Nguyen
Joel Tobeck as Steven Moss
Lisa McCune as Laura
Susie Porter as Jenny Moss
Little Fish received positive reviews from critics. The film has an 89% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 27 reviews. Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 77 (out of 100), based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". 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." 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."
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. It also won several Inside Film Awards, including Best Actress (Cate Blanchett) and Best Actor (Hugo Weaving).
Little Fish grossed $2,719,751 at the box office in Australia.
Little Fish was released on DVD apart 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, the other by singer Sarah Blasko. The soundtrack also features original songs composed by Nathan Larson.
- "Flame Trees" - Sarah Blasko
- "Little Fish Theme"
- "A Place in the Sun" - Hoodoo Gurus
- "Pool Love"
- "Con Mua Ha" - Mylinh Dinh
- "Half Speed Love"
- "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" - Bic Runga
- "I Can't Score For You"
- "Flame Trees" - The Sacred Heart School, Cabramatta
- "Little Fish Theme" (Redux)
- "Ban Toi" - The Enterprise Band featuring Hoang Son
- "Lionel Requiem"
- "End Credits"
- " Tinh Xot Xa Thoi".... Hong Anh Singer ( Le Quang)