The Nugget is like the rural equivalent of an urban legend. Narrated by an old codger called Wally (Max Cullen), who tells us that of all the strange stories that emerge from the Australian bush, this is one of the many that we never get to hear. Its also a pretty tall story - and thats why its such a good one.
Making it even more enjoyable are the three easy-going mates at the centre of it. Played to comic perfection by Eric Bana, Stephen Curry and Dave ONeil, these three who work for the council on the roads in and around Mudgee, were destined to be in each others company. Lotto (Bana) cant win a trick; even when he scores a big Lotto prize he loses the ticket. At the height of any crisis, Lottos solution is a simple one: Lets go and have a beer. Wookie (Curry) - so named because he thinks he spotted one of the furry Star Wars characters in his backyard - believes every conspiracy theory going, and Sue (ONeil) doesnt do much of anything if he can help it and got his name when he sued a pie company after finding a finger in one of their gourmet delights.
Between beers, these three go prospecting on a piece of land they share, and when they find what is probably the biggest gold nugget in history, it looks like Lottos bad luck has run its course. Its also good news for the boys long-suffering wives - Cheryl (Belinda Emmett), Moon Choo (Karen Pang) and Darlene (Sallyanne Ryan) - who have been left at home most weekends while the blokes go off with high hopes of coming back rich. While Cheryl and Moon Choo dont get too carried away about how theyll spend their millions (Cheryl decides to go wild and have a facial and manicure), Wookies wife, Darlene is bitten by the nasty bug and decides that the nugget belongs to him because his is the only name on the lease. Lurking around, theres also a shifty con man called Ratner (Peter Moon), who knows what the boys have unearthed - and plans to relieve them of it. The situation becomes messier, gold fever grows ugly, friendships are strained and theres foul play afoot. Lotto decides its time for another beer.
Like all good yarns, this one has a fanciful side and when it arrives at its big resolution, credibility is stretched delightfully to the limit. Ideally cast and told with a droll sense of humour by writer/director Bill Bennett, The Nugget is a comedy that strikes it rich.