Annie's Coming Out
|Annie's Coming Out|
|Directed by||Gil Brealey|
|Produced by||Don Murray|
|Written by||Chris Borthwick
|Music by||Simon Walker|
|Cinematography||Mick von Bornemann|
|Edited by||Lindsay Frazer|
|Distributed by||Hoyts (Australia)
|Release date(s)||27 September 1984 (Australia)
23 November 1984 (UK)
29 March 1985 (USA)
|Running time||96 minutes|
|Budget||under AU$1 million|
Annie's Coming Out (also known as A Test of Love) is a 1984 Australian drama film directed by Gil Brealey. It is based on the non-fiction book Annie's Coming Out by disability activists Rosemary Crossley and Anne McDonald. The book tells the story of McDonald's early life in a government institution for people with severe disabilities and her subsequent release.
Annie O'Farrell (based on Anne McDonald) is a 13 year old girl with cerebral palsy who is unable to communicate and has been living in a government institution from an early age. Jessica Hathaway (based on Rosemary Crossley) is a therapist who learns to communicate with Annie using an alphabet board and comes to believe that although physically disabled, Annie is not intellectually impaired. When Annie turns 18, Jessica begins a legal fight to get her released.
- Angela Punch McGregor as Jessica Hathaway
- Drew Forsythe as David
- Liddy Clark as Sally Clements
- Monica Maughan as Vera Peters
- Philippa Baker as Sister Waterman
- Tina Arhondis as Annie O'Farrell
- Mark Butler as Doctor John Monroe
- John Frawley as Harding
Film rights to the book were bought by Film Australia and Gil Brealey was assigned to direct. It was originally intended that Ann McDonald play herself but she had grown too big by the time she left hospital so 9 year old Tina Arhondis was cast instead. Shooting started in September 1983 and went for four weeks, mostly at the Convent of the Good Shepherd in Melbourne.
Annie's Coming Out won three 1984 Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Lead Actress (Angela Punch McGregor). It was nominated for four other AFI awards. The film won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 1984 Montréal World Film Festival.
The film was not a large commercial success but it screened in the US as A Test of Love.
Annie's Coming Out was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in October 2010. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes special features such as press clippings, photos, and audio commentary with Gil Brealey, Rosemary Crossley, Chris Borthwick and Anne McDonald.
- David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p57-58
- Mannikka, Eleanor. "A Test of Love > Overview". Allmovie. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- Brussat, Frederic; Mary Ann Brussat. "Film Review - A Test of Love". Spirituality & Practice. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "Annie's Coming Out - Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
- "Umbrella Entertainment". Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Annie's Coming Out at the Internet Movie Database
- Annie's Coming Out at Anything Oz and New Zealand Films site
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