Cast: David Wenham, Frances O'Connor, Sarah Wynter, Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik, Robert Menzies
Director: Robert Connolly
Rated: M adult themes, low level sex scenes, low level coarse language, low level violence
Running Time: 119 Minutes
It's About Change
Based on Elliot Perlman's critically acclaimed best seller, 'Three Dollars' is the much-anticipated comedic and ironic tale of the honest and compassionate Eddie (David Wenham) who at the age of 38, finds himself with a wife (Frances O'Connor), a child, a childhood love (Sarah Wynter) and three dollars.
38-year-old Eddie (David Wenham) opens 'Three Dollars' by collecting all his workplace possessions into a box as he is about to be escorted from his office building, the victim of "corporate restructuring". Jobless, Eddie heads for home, and stops to give a homeless man some pocket change and when he pulls the coins from his pocket he finds he has only three dollars, so he graciously hands them over, for Eddie suffers from integrity, compassion and is above all a decent man. Poor Eddie. He is sometimes his own worst enemy.
Eddie has what could be classified an average life, an intelligent working wife Tanya (a welcome laid-back Frances O'Connor), a gorgeous 6-year-old daughter Abby (Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik), and they live comfortably until Eddie loses his job. Then the cracks begin to appear as Eddie tries to come to grips with the meaning behind his job loss and his life. Added to this is the re-appearance of Amanda (Sarah Wynter), Eddie's childhood sweetheart. Somehow, Eddie and Amanda seem to see each other every nine and a half years, and the time has come again, coinciding with Eddie's job loss. This creates a kind of inner turmoil for Eddie as he reflects on his past and ponders his future. When Tanya also loses her job and becomes clinically depressed, Eddie searches desperately for meaning whilst trying to maintain a sense of humour and maintain his own sanity.
In this character driven story, honour, principles and honesty are the focus as Eddie shows how chance encounters can change perception - Eddie meets a man in the street, Nick (Robert Menzies) whom Eddie helps without question and without need for reward. Another chance meeting with Nick further along, and Eddie is rewarded for his act of kindness. It is these moments that are sprinkled throughout 'Three Dollars' that are the most heart-warming and offer the most to the viewer, along with some very quick and witty dialogue.
David Wenham is such a class act. In 'Three Dollars' he exudes class and cannot be faulted but unfortunately what can be faulted is the length of the movie - at just on two hours it is overly long without good reason and the conclusion wasn't anything mind-blowing to justify the lengthy wait. With some trimming, 'Three Dollars' would have been worth a lot more.
Rating : C+