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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.21%
Worth A Look: 6.06%
Average: 18.18%
Pretty Bad: 6.06%
Total Crap48.48%

2 reviews, 21 user ratings

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Nugget, The
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by Jack Marx

"Iím sick of this shit."
1 stars

I loved The Castle in spite of it. I disliked The Dish because of it. And I walked straight out of The Nugget because I just couldnít stand it anymore. The "it" is Aw-stray-lia, an utterly mythical country full of well-meaning morons, loopy hometown logic, redneck wives with hearts of gold and bullshit banter that hasnít made sense to anyone around here since the days of penal settlement.

The Nugget - a most appropriately titled film indeed - delivers the most improbable, intolerable picture of Australia yet. It might have been excusable had Theyíre A Weird Mob not been made 30 years before, or Dimboola nearly 40, but thereís just no excuse for The Nugget in 2002. Itís a film that speaks down to all Australians, and up to the rest of the civilised world.

The Nugget is the story of three mates, council workers all, who one day stumble across a find that could make them millionaires. Whether this is meant to be common knowledge or not, the film is based on a short story by John Steinbeck called The Pearl, in which a Mexican peasant finds both riches and woe in his discovery of a priceless gem. Itís a fable told in Steinbeckís way, and itís not at all surprising that somebody would translate it for an Australian audience.

But I want to know who this audience is. Is there anybody out there who truly believes rural Australians are all irredeemable imbeciles? Are they? And, if so, who is this film meant to touch? We city folk, continually portrayed through this genre as the heartless, unromantic turds of the island? The country buffoons, too thick to know theyíre the ones being ridiculed?

Of course, writer-director Bill Bennett would argue that The Nugget is not to be taken seriously - itís a comedy, for crying out loud, and itís just a bit of fun. Except that itís not the least bit funny. The acting is as wooden and laboured as a crucifixion march and the jokes lumber towards us from ancient hills on the horizon like noisy monkeys pulling exhausted elephants. Humour, at its best in any genre, is about light and dark, timing and deftness and laughs creeping sometimes from unlikely shadows. Not so with The Nugget, in which every character, without exception, is such a colossal idiot that no line of dialogue, no matter how ridiculous, seems the slightest bit surprising.

Bennett has said that, underneath the comedy, the film has a triumphant, typically Australian core. Itís about, wait for it... "mateship." Iím sick of this shit. Do we honestly believe we are the only race on the globe to have a handle on friendship? Or loyalty? When Italian men embrace, are they simply feeling each other up for kicks?

I donít know what Eric Bana was thinking when he agreed to take on this terrible film. And if there was any public funding went into it, somebody ought to be fronting a court of law. Using national cash to create an international embarrassment is surely a crime against humanity.

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originally posted: 12/04/02 08:19:23
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User Comments

12/29/17 Tom Philpott Eric Banavich is absolutely useless. Terrible Australian movie. 1 stars
5/23/08 ipfreely Thats one fucked up movie, where was brett blowing the cast? 1 stars
5/27/06 sweetsville better than heaps of crap all the people that said this is crap are in to! 5 stars
11/15/05 Tim Irving This is one of me fav movies coz it's auzzie. 5 stars
1/14/05 Cato A nugget alright. Fresh from Bill Bennett's arse! 1 stars
10/03/04 Htur as an Australian, i have to say, I LOVE IT!!!, its funny and thats all that matters! 5 stars
8/31/04 andy this movie doesnt even deserve half a star 1 stars
8/30/04 Frekky Of hat i saw today, i think brett likes men in skirts, and small children to fondel & stalk 1 stars
8/21/04 K.Myott ok movie 2 stars
8/21/04 ih8brettjoseph brett jospeh is a total fag 1 stars
6/02/04 gpok gpo SHITE! 1 stars
4/06/04 Uni Girl I thought this film was an absolute classic. The way it showed Australians as we really are 5 stars
9/10/03 Laver As shit as shit can be? Who keeps giving Bill Bennett money? 1 stars
6/08/03 amanda great movie 5 stars
6/01/03 Long Thickdong Classic Aussie Flick. Very enjoyable! 4 stars
5/11/03 that dude oh yeah 2 stars
3/16/03 Kevin Dehn Hillarious!! 5 stars
3/09/03 Brett Joseph An Absolute Treasure to Bill & Jenny. You really are Mudgee's favourite daughter!! 5 stars
2/25/03 Mark Lawrence Jack Marx represents all I "hate" about arty-farty cinema critic wankers . 4 stars
1/29/03 fraz give a camera to a group of high school students. They'd have done a better job 1 stars
1/22/03 Pinkline Jones Absolute Bum Clag! The funders should be locked up. 1 stars
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  N/A (R)
  DVD: 12-Sep-2006


  17-Oct-2002 (M)

Directed by
  Bill Bennett

Written by
  Bill Bennett

  Eric Bana
  Stephen Curry
  Dave O'Neil
  Belinda Emmett
  Peter Moon
  Vince Colosimo

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