My Brilliant Career (film)
|My Brilliant Career|
|Directed by||Gillian Armstrong|
|Produced by||Margaret Fink|
|Written by||Miles Franklin
|Music by||Nathan Waks|
|Editing by||Nicholas Beauman|
|Release dates||17 August 1979|
|Running time||100 minutes|
|Box office||AU$3,052,000 (Australia)|
The film was released in Australia on 17 August 1979; in the United States on 6 October 1979 at the New York Film Festival and 1 February 1980 in limited U.S. theaters; in Japan on 2 January 1982; and in Poland on 23 July 2007 at Era New Horizons Film Festival. The film is also available in DVD in several regions, including Region 1 DVD. Some scenes were shot at the Ryrie homstead at Michelago, New South Wales.
Sybylla (Judy Davis), a headstrong, free spirited girl growing up in late 19th century Australia, has the opportunity of marriage to a young man, Harry (Sam Neill), a wealthy suitor and childhood friend, but rejects it in order to maintain her independence, instead being forced to take a job as governess/housekeeper to the family of an illiterate neighbour to whom her father owes money. After returning home, she again rejects another proposal by Harry so she can write her novel, My Brilliant Career.
- Judy Davis as Sybylla Melvyn
- Sam Neill as Harry Beecham
- Wendy Hughes as Aunt Helen
- Robert Grubb as Frank Hawdon
- Max Cullen as Mr. McSwatt
- Aileen Britton as Grandma Bossier
- Peter Whitford as Uncle Julius
- Patricia Kennedy as Aunt Gussie
- Alan Hopgood as Father
- Julia Blake as Mother
- David Franklin as Horace
- Marion Shad as Gertie
- Aaron Wood as Stanley
- Sue Davies as Aurora
- Gordon Piper as Barman
- Simone Buchanan as Mary-Anne
Margaret Fink bought the rights to the novel and the Australian Film Development Corporation suggested she hire a writer to adapt it. Fink went with Eleanor Witcombe. Gillian Armstrong met Margaret Fink while working as an assistant art director on the latter's The Removalists (1975) and Fink was impressed with her short film A Hundred A Day. She subsequently hired Armstrong to direct.
Gillian Armstrong brought in script editor Ted Ogden to work on the script, which caused tension between her and Witcombe. For a time Witcombe threatened to take her name off the credits but ultimately decided not to.
The film was successfully shown at Cannes in 1979 and proved to be very popular.
Awards and nominations
- Australian Film Institute
- Australian Cinematographers Society
- Cinematographer of the Year (Donald McAlpine)
- BAFTA Awards
- Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards
- KCFCC Award for Best Foreign Film (tied with Blechtrommel, Die)
- London Critics Circle Film Awards
- Special Achievement Award (Gillian Armstrong for her directing debut)
- Academy Awards
- Best Costume Design (Anna Senior)
- Australian Film Institute
My Brilliant Career grossed $3,052,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $11,933,320 in 2009 dollars.
- David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p217-220
- Peter Beilby & Scott Murray, "Margaret Fink", Cinema Papers, March-April 1979 p288-290
- Peter Beilby & Scott Murray, "Gillian Armstrong", Cinema Papers, March-April 1979 p291-293
- Brian McFarlane, "My Brilliant Career", Australian Film 1978-1992, Oxford Uni Press, p43
- "Festival de Cannes: My Brilliant Career". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
- Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office