THREE DOLLARS: DVD
Eddie (David Wenham) by profession is a chemical engineer working for the Victorian Public Service testing soil for contamination in advance of development. His wife Tanya (Frances O'Connor) is an academic, and their six year old daughter Abby (Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik) is well loved. When he leaks a report to The Age, concerned about a certain project, he is fired and finds himself unemployed, with just three dollars to his name. It's at this moment that he meets his childhood sweetheart again, Amanada (Sarah Wynter), daughter of a wealthy developer. With Tanya tearfully fearful for their future, Eddie's natural optimism is tested to the limit as he turns a baffled eye on the world.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Three Dollars is such a strange film I am tempted to read the novel (only time constraints have held me back so far) to see if the tantalising episodes of Eddie's life captured here find some cohesion through the inner voice of literature. The cinematic arts of the film are beyond doubt: Robert Connolly is a natural master of film, and he makes this a fascinating work, filled with little treasures of observation, performance and technique.
The symbolism is obtuse, and three dollars and the three women in Eddie's life (wife, daughter, Amanda) are not readily identifiable as cross symbolic. For me, the film's theme is decency or integrity, something Eddie suffers for in various ways, from losing his job to helping others. Each time he goes to help someone, he pays the price. But in the case of his decency toward one homeless man (Robert Menzies in top form), he is repaid in kind.
The fact that it is this outcast of society who returns the good deed is perhaps one of the film's melancholy messages about our world. David Wenham brings his humanity to the role with a subtle and wide ranging performance in which he is required to show many facets of a morally upright man in a morally uncertain world. Frances O'Connor shows once again her range and her depth as Tanya, while the tiny, sweet little Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik is a terrific find.
Eddie's reflection on the coincidence that he meets Amanada every nine and a half years - and this is the fourth - is a more important to him for its obscurity, perhaps, than for any real meaning. Like wise for us, but the film is engaging and a pleasure to watch, especially the first half. First and foremost a character study, Three Dollars also brings together elements that could be identified (loosely) as romantic comedy, thriller and psychological drama.
In the end, Eddie comes through his trials with his integrity and decency providing the comfort that financial security could not. Family and self knowledge give him the strength and peace of mind he could never find elsewhere. On the way, he comes face to face with the brutality of the modern world - in every walk of life.
There are two commentaries on the DVD - one by director Robert Connolly and one by the creative team. There are also cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes, short film and Robert Connolly's exclusive documentary 'Threads Between The Boys, The Bank and Three Dollars'.
February 16, 2006
Email this article
THREE DOLLARS: DVD (M)
CAST: David Wenham, Frances O'Connor, Sarah Wynter, Robert Menzies, Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik
PRODUCER: John Maynard
DIRECTOR: Robert Connolly
SCRIPT: Robert Connolly, Elliot Perlman (novel by Elliot Perlman)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tristan Milani
EDITOR: Nick Meyers
MUSIC: Alan John
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Luigi Pittorino
RUNNING TIME: 119 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Dendy
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 21, 2005
SPECIAL FEATURES: Documentary by director Robert kConnolly 'Threads Between The Boys, The Bank and Three Dollars'; Director's Commentary; plus deleted scenes; creative team commentary track/ cast and crew interviews; Eliiot Perlman interviews Factory's Tony Wilson about Joy Division's Ian Curtis; 'Winged Plague' Short film; photo gallery of unseen on-set stills plus comparative storybaords
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Madman
DVD RELEASE: February 15, 2006