Dessicated Coconut

Movies 5

David Wenham as Luke

Dust (2001). Dir. Milcho Manchevski. With Joseph Fiennes, Anne Brochet.

Plot Synopsis: Feuding cowboy brothers enlist on opposite sides of the First Balkan War of 1912. The story is interwoven with an unlikely modern-day friendship between a thief and an old woman, who tells the story in flashback. Filmed in Macedonia. The cast and crew suffered from sunstroke, dysentery, and numerous other ailments.

Character: Luke

Notes: Blood, dirt, and angst a-plenty. Luke doesn't say much, but gets beaten up and shot at quite a lot, and spends the last half of the movie sans shirt. His Texas accent fluctuates a bit.
Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpg   The modern-day plotline tends to interrupt protracted appreciation of Luke's chapped lips and sweaty man-filth.
Nerdometer:  nerdometer2.jpg
Content:  horse.jpgsponge.jpglips.jpgbandaid.jpgshirtlessness2.jpggun.jpgcookie.jpg  Horses, dirt, pouting, bullet wounds, unrelenting shirtlessness, gunslinging, voyeurism, and cookie-tossing.

Memorable Quotes:  "Heads, I go first. Tails, you go second."
"Spare me the sermon, just shoot."
"I'll always be there for ya, Lileth."
Davidity:  A-
Availability:  DVD - all regions

David Wenham as Jim Doyle
Jim Doyle

The Bank (2001). Dir. Robert Connolly. With Anthony LaPaglia, Sibylla Budd.

Plot Synopsis: Tale of revenge and greed often compared to "Wall Street". Jim Doyle (Wenham), a mathematical genius, has discovered a formula that can predict the behavior of stock markets based on chaos theory. The CEO of Centabank (LaPaglia) hires him in order to exploit his talents and dominate the global markets. Jim is also forced to perjure himself at the foreclosure trial of a local couple who lost everything when Centabank enticed them into a bad foreign-currency loan years ago. However, other forces are at work.

Character: Jim Doyle

Notes:  Jim Doyle is chaos theory personified:  when David flutters his lips in Melbourne, typhoons rage in hearts halfway around the world.
Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer4.jpg
Content:  shirtlessness2.jpgheart.jpg shower.jpgcookie.jpggreek.jpg  Shirtlessness, nookie, running leap into river, barfing, speaks Japanese, ruins multiple tablecloths

Memorable Quotes:  "If you're going to do some serious unpacking, there's some boxes in the other room."
Jim: "Shouldn't we get to know each other first?"
Michelle: "But what if we don't like each other?"
Jim: "You're absolutely right."
"I just hate banks."
Davidity:  A-
Availability:  DVD - all regions

David Wenham as Audrey

Moulin Rouge (2001). Dir. Baz Luhrmann. With Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor.

Plot Synopsis: A young, wannabe Bohemian poet falls for a beautiful courtesan who is coveted by a jealous duke. In the apartment upstairs, a temperamental, egotistical transvestite writer (Wenham) is trying to put the finishing touches on a "Sound of Music"-like play.

Character: Audrey

Notes:  David originally had a much larger part, but Luhrmann was forced to cut nearly all of it. Audrey remains in one scene, near the beginning.
Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer4.jpg
Content:  jester2.jpg  Funny lines

Memorable Quotes:  "Oh, where in heaven's name are we going to find someone to read the role of a young sensitive Swiss poet/goatherder?"
"Oh, stop stop stop stop stop stop! Stop that insufferable droning! It's drowning out my words!...Can we please just stick to a little decorative piano?"
Davidity:  F+  Only if you're truly desperate for a fix.
Availability:  DVD - all regions

David Wenham as Ethan

Russian Doll (2001). Dir. Stavros Kazantzidis. With Hugo Weaving, Natasha Novak.

Plot Synopsis: Harvey (Weaving), a private investigator unlucky in love, agrees to marry his best friend Ethan's Russian mistress,so that she can remain in the country.

Character: Ethan

Notes: Thick glasses, a yarmulke, and mild sleaziness are lightly complemented by the spectacle of David speaking Hebrew and pinching Hugo Weaving's nipple. Look for him sans glasses in the closing scene.
Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpgclock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer4.jpg
Content:  glasses.jpggreek.jpg  Wears glasses, speaks Hebrew, implied phone nookie

Memorable Quotes:  "Look, I loathe the whole thing myself."
Davidity:  B-
Availability:  DVD - all regions

David Wenham as Josh

Better Than Sex (2000). Dir. Jonathan Teplitzky. With Susie Porter, Kris McQuade.

Plot Synopsis: Josh (Wenham), a wildlife photographer in town for three days, meets Cin (Porter) at a party. They agree to hook up for a meaningless one-night stand, which turns into something more than either of them anticipated. Wenham and Porter have a wonderful chemistry; it's easy to believe that they truly care for each other. Kris McQuade plays the town's lone taxi driver-cum-deus ex machina.

Character: Josh

Notes:  The Better Than Sex Press Kit has more info about the movie: casting, production notes, behind the scenes, actor bios.  This PDF file is lengthy, so brew a cup of tea and settle down someplace comfy to read it.
Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer3.jpg
Content:  shirtlessness2.jpglips.jpgshower.jpgheart.jpgjester2.jpg  Nudity, high-voltage pouting, bathtub scene, relentless rutting, amusing lines.

Memorable Quotes:  "All I wanted was to be a princess for a day."

"The condom came loose, and quite frankly, I didn't need the extra friction. Anyway....I ran out of ingredients."

"I was a virgin, before you forced me up here."

"If you're going to do any serious redecorating, you've got to prepare the surface properly."

"Who the hell looks at shoes?!?"

Josh: "Do you have any food?"
Cin: "Look in the fridge, there's got to be something."
Josh: (holding up wilted root vegetable) "Uh...I meant food you could eat."
"Desiccated coconut!!"
Davidity:  A+
Availability:  DVD - all regions

David Wenham as Father Damien
Father Damien

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999). Dir. Paul Cox. With Kris Kristofferson, Peter O'Toole, Derek Jacobi.

Plot Synopsis: The true story of Father Damien, the 19th-century missionary priest who came to work at the leper colony of Molokai, Hawaii, in 1873. He is ordered by his superiors not to touch or eat with any of the patients; yet within moments of stepping off the ship, he hugs a small boy. He battles church hostility and bureaucratic indifference to bring supplies, treatment, and the word of God to the patients on the island. Along the way he resists worldly temptation and displays remarkable courage and humanity. The movie downplays some of the inhumane real-life aspects of the colony, including rampant abuse, theft, and forced prostitution. Watch for a small cameo by David's partner, Kate Agnew, as Sister Leopoldina.

Character: Father Damien

Notes: David was nominated for an AFI award for his solid, stoic performance as Father Damien. He's understated and humble without being wooden. His anger at the conditions on the island occasionally boils over, resulting in some great confrontational scenes with his superiors. Father Damien comes across as a real man frustrated by aspects of his duty, but still selfless and giving up until the very end. The DVD has nice extras, including an interview with David and a feature on the real Father Damien.
Molokai's production was notoriously troubled. The director, Paul Cox, butted heads with the producers from the start, starting with the casting:
"For starters, they wanted Sean Penn or Robin Williams to play Damien," laughs Cox. "There were some very hilarious suggestions. But I knew Damien had to be someone not known. I didn't want people to see Robin Williams' face and think, 'Oh, here's Robin Williams being very saintly.'
"I had seen David onstage, and I knew he had incredible range. Then they really wanted Linus Roache (The Wings Of The Dove). I'd seen a few of the things he'd done and found him quite predictable. I knew what the man was up to. With David you don't."
During shooting, Cox was sacked three times (each time reinstated at the insistence of cast and crew).  The financial backers recut their own version of the film for release in Europe. That version departed radically from Cox's original vision (to put it charitably) and it was only a protracted and costly Belgian High Court battle that won Cox back the butchered negatives.  That allowed the final version of the film to be released three years after it was finished.  More than one person involved with the movie has remarked on the irony that a film about a selfless, non-materialistic man was held up by legal and financial squabbles.

Drool Factor:  greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpgclock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer4.jpg
Content:  greek.jpgbandaid.jpg  Flemish accent, speaks French, succumbs to leprosy

Memorable Quotes
Davidity:  B+
Availability:  DVD - all regions

David Wenham as Diver Dan
Diver Dan

Sea Change (1998). TV series. Dir. Ali Ali and Ray Argell. With Sigrid Thornton, Cassandra Magrath, Kane McNay.

Plot Synopsis: Much-beloved Australian drama series, co-written by Andrew Knight (of "Simone de Beauvoir's Babies"). A slick city lawyer (Thornton) leaves her faithless husband, moves to the beach with her two children, and takes up a new life as a local magistrate. There she meets a new love interest, in the form of "Diver Dan" Della Bosca, an enigmatic local fisherman. 

Character: Daniel "Diver Dan" Della Bosca

Notes: Sea Change is often compared to Northern Exposure: city slicker moves to remote village, meets colorful, wacky characters, learns profound lessons about love and life.   Diver Dan, a laconic fisherman and retired shark wrangler in the town of Pearl Bay, operates a boat rental and ferry service, and is the proprietor of Diver Dan's Cafe.  "Dan has his own particular slant on the world and he often does things for no other reason than his own amusement," David remarks.  "But the idyllic life and togetherness of Dan is a facade. There is a darker side to him."
David was nominated for an AFI award for his role on Seachange.
Profile of Diver Dan at  And another interesting Seachange Site which answers questions about Diver Dan's age, background, and why he hardly ever says Laura's name.
Drool Factor:   greenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpggreenbucket2.jpg
Screentime:  clock.jpg clock.jpg clock.jpg
Nerdometer:  nerdometer3.jpg
Content:  jester2.jpg lips.jpg shirtlessness2.jpg greek.jpg heart.jpg   Gobs of amusing dialogue, industrial-strength pouting, loss of shirt, Japanese and Spanish lines, and nookie.

Memorable Quotes:  "I wouldn't breathe in too deeply.  You might be inhaling my mother."
"Close your eyes, and repeat after me:  I can be appalling.  I can be appalling."
"Brrrrrrrr....King! King!  Meowww!  Meowww!  King! King! Meoww!  Meoww!"
"You're awfully fratchy tonight."
"I don't make cakes.  Actually, I never saw that as my life plan."
"Well, in some societies a leaping mullet is considered such a delicacy that to cook one for a lover would be considered the most romantic gesture imaginable.  Of course, in other societies they'd rather watch television."
Davidity:  A
Availability:  DVD - Region 4 only.  "Seachange" was shown on Canadian television in the spring of 2004, and has been shown on local PBS affiliates in the US.

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