Film review by Colin Fraser


oyster farmer
Running from the law,  Jack lands a job with a community of oyster farmers. score

moviereview rates films from
1 (unwatchable) to 5 (unmissable)
Alex O'Lachlan, David Fields, Kerry Armstrong

Anna Reeves

Anna Reeves


Rating / Running Time
M / 91 minutes

Australian Release
June 2005

Official Site

(c) moviereview 2005
ABN 72 775 390 361

Up on the Hawkesbury River, a close knit community of oyster farmers is joined by a young city lad. Unaware that he’s hiding from police, Brownie (David Fields) hires Jack (hunky Alex O’Lachlan) to help keep his business, and to some extent his marriage, afloat. Jack’s plans start to sink when a parcel goes missing and cops come calling. While there’s more than a touch of the ABC’s about Anna Reeve’s romantic drama, Oyster Farmer is an attractive film about insiders and outsiders. She mines a strong vein of wry humour in this tale of a fish out of water that is stronger for resisting the canon of quirky characters that usually populate such stories. Although it hiccups around a minor subplot involving a dead dog, Oyster Farmer delivers with characters and situation that ring true, warmed by a sense of pathos in the cause of Jack’s criminal actions. Alun Bollinger’s photography draws a great deal from stunning locations; his close-ups are revealing although wide and establishing shots are surprisingly lacking. Jack Thompson lends his weight to the story’s edges while Fields and Armstrong are terrific on centre stage. Reeve’s shows her heart and a clear affection for the lives of Hawkesbury river-dwellers despite a reluctance to squeeze that last drop of hostility from her story. She holds firm where a light throttling would have brought a welcome charge to the narrative. None the less, Oyster Farmer is a charming tale that illustrates a slice of near-Sydney life seldom seen on screen. // COLIN FRASER