Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Australia, 1979. Greater Union Organisation, Margaret Fink Productions, New South Wales Film Corp.. Screenplay by Eleanor Witcombe, based on the novel by Miles Franklin. Cinematography by Donald McAlpine. Produced by Margaret Fink. Music by Nathan Waks. Production Design by Luciana Arrighi. Costume Design by Anna Senior. Film Editing by Nicholas Beauman. Academy Awards 1980. Cannes Film Festival 1979. Golden Globe Awards 1980.
Gillian Armstrong should have simply titled her debut My Brilliant Film. It stars a young and fresh Judy Davis as a rebellious Australian woman who shuns convention when she refuses to marry the eligible bachelor that her family has selected for her. Instead, she decides she wants to remain independent and become a successful writer, even after she realizes that she has grown fond of her grandmother’s neighbour (Sam Neill) and falls in love with him. Armstrong’s pacing is perfectly timed and never for a moment loses a sense of balance, while the excellent performances and pristine screenplay flesh out the inner lives of the characters and make for extremely compelling viewing.