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The Nugget (2002)

  Directed by: Bill Bennett
Starring: Eric Bana, Vince Colosimo, Max Cullen, Stephen Curry, Belinda Emmett, Peter Moon, Dave O'Neil, Karen Pang, Sallyanne Ryan
Links: The Nugget on the IMDb, Official site
Genre: Comedy
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Film 2003 (nominee)

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"In which a few fools find some gold" - a review by pearly

Hooray for Aussie comedies! There's something that's so wonderful about watching a movie that is sometimes just like a really long episode of Hey Dad. Okay, so that's a bit of an insult, but what's refreshing about The Nugget is the complete lack of pretentiousness. It's just the fact that you can see a few guys up on screen telling jokes that you might hear your brother make with his friends. They're not the funniest things ever, but you've gotta have a warm place in your heart for them anyway.

This is the kind of thing that Stephen Curry and Dave O'Neil (who play Wookie and Sue, respectively) do best. They're so relaxed - it comes across as though they're not really acting at all, they're just hanging tough, doing their thing. Eric Bana (who plays the unlucky Lotto) doesn't fit into this rhythm as well, but he's great for other reasons - like the fact that he can speak with such an ocker accent that you (momentarily) forget that he's been doing the Hollywood thing.

The Nugget is about three council-road-working beer-swilling yobs who spend their weekends searching the bush for gold. And, one weekend, they actually find some - in fact, they find the biggest nugget ever. But then, it goes missing (surprise, surprise), and they've gotta get it back somehow.

The next layer to the tale is the blokes' wives. Each of them is a recognisable stereotype: Belinda Emmett plays Lotto's wife, and she's the kind of woman who's a little smarter than her man, and makes you wonder why she's even with him. Sallyanne Ryan plays Wookie's wife; she's the scrubber of the gang - the real country gal, kinda like Irene from Home and Away, but with less use of the word "love". And the last is Karen Pang, who plays Sue's wife, who is kinda like a mail-order bride.

The Nugget isn't really laugh-out-loud funny. Some of it falls a bit flat, like the repetitive response of "that's funny" each time that one of the guys says something vaguely amusing. You can see what they're trying to do, and you can imagine your friends getting into a routine where they did that, but it somehow doesn't translate well. Some of the bits involving Vince Colosimo's character don't work too well either - he plays Dimitri, the "wog" who owns just about every business in the town. Good concept, a bit overdone, and some bits not very funny. Also, Colosimo has a bit too much cred to be able to play an oily, gold chain wearing Greek guy legitimately. Perhaps they should have rolled out George Kapiniaris instead.

In amongst all the tomfoolery, The Nugget is a fable (in much the same way that The Castle (1997) was). It's a comedy with a message, rather than a message being shoved down your throat with some funny bits thrown in to keep the kiddies interested, which is the way this would have gone if someone from America had made it. Certainly not the best film ever, but a lot of fun nonetheless.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 12 Nov 2002

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Reader comments

  1. iugiugbil

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from gkj on Thu 16 Oct 2003 12:46 #

  2. the nugget rox!!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from chick from up the road on Wed 04 Feb 2004 19:32 #

  3. you are a cunt

    A comment from george kapiniaris on Fri 15 Oct 2004 14:20 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (2 ratings)

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