The Oyster Farmer (TOF)

I’ve always held the opinion that Australian movies are either very good or very bad. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. I can’t remember ever watching one and thinking ‘that was ok.’ Some I’ve watched and thought ‘wow, that was brilliant’ and some I’ve watched and thought ‘WTF were they thinking?’ My biggest problem with Oz movies is the stereotyping. Maybe the films are made for international audiences, but we don’t all speak with those broad Australian accents, we’re not all bogans, or yobbos, we don’t all live in country or outback towns that time forgot.

So it took me a long time to see The Oyster Farmer. I was bullied talked into watching it by an online pack of AOL fans (you know I love you, ladies!)

Apparently, TOF is a brilliant, funny, sweet, charming movie. This has nothing to do with the fact that AOL is in it. Not.a.thing πŸ™‚ Anyway, I put it into my Quikflix queue, and wondered how I would explain to NotMcG why it was there. He and I have the same opinion on Oz movies. I have to say, at the time of ordering the movie, he had no idea of my AOL fixation. If I ordered the movie now, he wouldn’t wonder for a second.

So when TOF arrived, I couldn’t resist the urge to watch it secretly. I wanted to do so all by myself, so I could ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ and enjoy all the moments the FUCUPS had so lovingly commented on at Sardonic. I was a little scared of the dead dog scene, but had been assured that it was hilarious and not sad at all. Finally, everyone went to bed and I was able to watch. It was 11.30pm and I had to get up at 5am. Strike one.

I decided to do a preview on the computer – strike two – so I could pause and comment. The movie began, (nice music) and I eagerly anticipated being blown away by this movie. I was not. Not even a little breeze. I could not wait for it to finish. I’m guessing the lateness of the hour, the small screen, the big build up – all contributed to my being completely underwhelmed.

I think my main problem (apart from it being an Oz movie) is that at the time, I was completely a ‘McG’ girl. I had no desire to see **Moonlight, or anything else Alex has been in. I have seen some of his previous work, and it didn’t turn me into an instant fangirl. But McG…I think two episodes into H50, and I was a goner. The Show itself, I was still making my mind up on, but I would have watched McG do the weather report. So long as he smashed some while doing it.

I get that Jack Flange πŸ™‚ is nothing like McG. All I could think of while watching was Forrest Gump. Jack even walked weirdly. I wanted to see as.smashing and crazy behaviour, not some guy committing a robbery with a fruit roll up mask and a lobster or cutting a dead dog out of a carpet. (On second thought, that is kind of crazy!)

But I decided to do a rewatch. I convinced NotMcG to sit down on the weekend with me and watch.

On the second viewing, I decided I liked it a little better. Surprisingly, NotMcG actually thought it was a pretty good movie. But I still didn’t fall under TOF’s spell. I’m not a TOFFY. I’m with Sheila and that other random person whose name I can’t remember. Oh wait, Lee. Whoever Lee is, she’s smart.

So, while TOF didn’t make me a TOFFY, it did change my perspective on Australian movies. Maybe there are some that aren’t brilliant, some that aren’t absolutely awful.

What did I score TOF? I gave it a 7. It was ok. Though there were some nice scenes….

**Moonlight post coming soon



  1. Apparently, TOF is a brilliant, funny, sweet, charming movie. This has nothing to do with the fact that AOL is in it.

    See it sounds legit to me but I’ve been informed (by my husband) that this is in fact quite a lame excuse to watch something. πŸ˜‰

    The *** down to your “Moonlight post coming soon” made me laugh — fangirling is like a disease. I mean this in the best possible way.

    A year ago, I was going on about H50 on the phone to my sister — who has participated in online fangirl forums for a variety of shows since we were teenagers. So she has been around this block before. Once I let her get a word in edgewise she said “so the lead actor, he’s the guy from that vampire show, have you seen that yet?” and I was all – “oh no, vampires? not really my scene, I have no interest in that.” And she’s all, “mm-hmm.”

    The Rest

    As they Say

    Is History

    1. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

      “So she has been around this block before.”
      So has Sheila. And when she rolls her eyes at me or I can tell she’s getting bored with my Alex talk I politely remind her, she got me into show, so it’s all her fault.

      1. & I’m sure you patiently sat through many conversations with her about Sam & Dean or whoever she was obsessed with at the time!

        1. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

          She be Team Dean. And yes, you’re right.

    2. I had NO interest either.
      And The Rest
      They Say
      Is History

  2. heymomo · · Reply

    Would I have even heard of TOF had I not fallen in with a bunch of FUCUPs?
    Would I have watched it without being “encouraged” to by a bunch of TOFFYs?
    Probably not.
    And yet after one viewing… HOOKED. (Like all good h00kers)
    Of course that had nothing to do with AOL in it. *winks*

  3. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

    I have to say, I have M to thank because without her review of TOF, none of us probably would have watched it. At the very least, we wouldn’t have discussed it all together and I wouldn’t find myself wanting to watch it for the 6th, 7th, 8th time….. So, sorry, Westy. You know how much I truly, madly, deeply πŸ˜‰ love this film. Of all the roles Alex has done this is, for me, the most relatable. Having said that, I do love McG.

    Also, I agree Westy, 9 times out of 10, Australian films are really good, or really bad. (The other Aussie film I love is the Castle). This is one of the good ones in my book.

    Lee, she is a work friend who became a friend friend lol. She also tried Moonlight but fell asleep and only got through one episode of h50. I think there is something wrong with her. Hi Lee. Love you.

    1. I think Lee needs an intervention. While I agree with her that TOF wasn’t great, WTF is wrong with her that she got through only one episode of H50?? And Moonlight…she missed out on MICK. (I don’t know how I’m going to write my ML piece…I’m pretty sure I can only use the words awesome and amazing only so many times before it becomes really lame.)

      1. PS..that Moonlight page is going to be OFF THE CHAIN!!

      2. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

        “I can only use the words awesome and amazing only so many times ”

        shift + F7 for all your thesaurus needs. πŸ˜€

        Lee is too busy being in love with Damon Salvatore from Vampire Diaries to care about Mick. Her loss. πŸ˜›

    2. “I have M to thank because without her review of TOF, none of us probably would have watched it” – Wait…i saw it long before M saw it which means you probably did too. M was a little late to the party. But oh she caught up…unlike some who drug their feet about it. Looking at YOU KIMMER!!

      1. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

        Not sure Ess. I am fairly certain I was tweeting M about how hard it was for me to find TOF. I think it was three or four shops and a couple of weeks before I found it so I can’t imagine I’d be talking to her about it unless she had seen it….. so maybe you win?

        1. I’m pretty sure Ess asked M for a TOF page and recap, then M watched TOF and made a video for us explaining why she couldn’t sardonic it?

          1. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

            Now the question is, how did Ess come by TOF before anyone else???

  4. Dear Westy, you distaste for this movie is epic and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because then I’d think you were too damn near perfect. πŸ˜‰

    I totally get the ‘stereotyping’ thing. I feel it every time a movie or TV show is made to be about the south (USA). Ugh.

    1. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

  5. FOYeur · · Reply

    Interestingly enough, I think one of the reasons so many actors (Alex included) move to the USA to find better opportunities, is kind of summed up in what you say in this review. I think Alex called the movie industry in Oz, a boutique industry at some stage. No really big budget movies (and paycheques), but more story telling movies. And we must look at these, films like Oyster farmer, just as that.
    Although I totally regard myself as a TOFFY and have seen this movie more times than anybody should (and will do so many times more), I also would not score it higher than 7.
    One thing that I will always be thankful for about this movie…..It gave us a the young and raw but somewhat shy, sexually uninhibited Alex!! …yey to the Pier!!

    Baz Lehrman is a excellent filmmaker in my eyes – one of his smaller movies from 1992 “Strictly Ballroom” was a movie that made me fall in love with Australian movie making as a industry.

    1. Loved Strictly Ballroom. Not as much as I loved The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Now *that* was a really, really good Oz movie.

      1. FOYeur · · Reply

        Priscilla is not only one of my favourite Oz movies, it is one of my favourites of all movies! Classic quote from it: ” a c/ck in a frock on a rock” ….still laugh if I think of it….

  6. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

    Speaking of TOF….anyone remember this dude. πŸ˜›

    Every time I see this ad I want to watch TOF.

    1. This must be a regional thing, Gracie. I’ve never heard of it, but now I want some. (I don’t wanna watch TOF though)

    2. That is the most intense commercial for chocolate milk I have ever seen!

    3. I watched that like 10 times just to hear the accent. True Story.

      1. Infant_Sardonic · · Reply

        My favourite bit is the bit where he goes, I don’t have a son, well technically I do, he’s in real estate. This cracks everyone in my family up.

        Westy, if I ever see it in a shop I’ll buy it and let you know if it’s any good…assuming I don’t die a slow painful lactose intolerant related death.

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