Jocelyn Moorhouse

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Jocelyn Moorhouse
Jocelyn Moorhouse at the premiere of 2015 film, The Dressmaker, at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, September 2015
Moorhouse at the premiere of The Dressmaker at TIFF, September 2015
Born (1960-09-04) 4 September 1960 (age 62)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation(s)Film director, screenwriter
SpouseP.J. Hogan
AwardsAustralian Film Institute Award for Best Direction
1991 Proof
Australian Film Institute Award for Best Screenplay
1991 Proof
Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film
1994 Muriel's Wedding

Jocelyn Denise Moorhouse (born 4 September 1960) is an Australian screenwriter and film director. She has directed films such as Proof, How to Make an American Quilt, A Thousand Acres and The Dressmaker.

Moorhouse has also collaborated with her husband, film director P. J. Hogan on films such as Muriel's Wedding (1994) and Mental (2012).

Early life[edit]

Moorhouse was born in Melbourne, Victoria.

Moorhouse did her HSC year in 1978 at Vermont High School where her mother taught art, which is the same high school that Gillian Armstrong attended a few years earlier. She then enrolled in the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).


It was while studying at AFTRS that Moorhouse completed her first short film entitled Pavane in 1983. She graduated from AFTRS in 1984 and started work as television script editor.

She created a 12-part series called c/o The Bartons for ABC Television in 1988, which was based on one of her short films at AFTRS called The Siege of the Bartons' Bathroom. Some of the other television shows she worked on included The Flying Doctors, Out of the Blue, A Place to Call Home, and The Humpty Dumpty Man.[1]

Moorhouse made her feature film debut in 1991 with Proof.[2] The idea for the film came from her interest in blindness and photography. She initially intended it to be a short film, but not being able to secure the funding for a short, she decided to make it into a feature film instead.[1] It took five years to go into production, but when it did it had a budget of $1.1 million. The film ended up taking six weeks to shoot in Melbourne during the winter of 1990.[3]

The success of Proof brought Moorhouse bigger and better opportunities. She followed up with her first "Hollywood blockbuster" with How to Make an American Quilt in 1995. Anne Bancroft, Winona Ryder, Kate Nelligan, Dermot Mulroney, and Alfre Woodard all had roles in the film, which was met with mixed reviews.[3][4]

Her next feature film was A Thousand Acres in 1997, an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Jane Smiley. The film is about the relationship between a father and three daughters when tragedy is introduced into their lives. It starred Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jason Robards and was also met with mixed reviews.[3][5] In 1999 both Hogan and Moorhouse through the Hogan Moorhouse Pictures company signed deal with Sony.[6]

In 2012, Moorhouse directed the play Sex with Strangers for the Sydney Theatre Company, which was well reviewed by online magazine Crikey.[7]

The Dressmaker (2015) stars Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, and Hugo Weaving. The film was based on the novel by Rosalie Ham and is about a dressmaker who returns to her home in Australia to take care of her ailing, mentally unstable mother.[8]

Moorhouse directed Troppo, an eight-part television crime drama series set in North Queensland, for ABC Television in 2021. The series debuted in February 2022.[9]


Moorhouse was producer of her husband's films Muriel's Wedding in 1994[10] and Mental in 2012,[11] and was screenwriter for his 2002 film Unconditional Love.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Moorhouse is married to film director P. J. Hogan. They have four children, two of whom are autistic.[12][13]

In April 2019, Moorhouse spoke on the ABC Television program Australian Story about how their relationship had developed and how having the children had affected their personal and professional lives, including a move back to Australia from the US.[14][15]

Her memoir, in which Moorhouse writes about her career as well as her personal and family life, Unconditional Love: A Memoir of Filmmaking and Motherhood, was published in April 2019.[16]


  • Moorhouse's first feature film, Proof, earned instant critical acclaim in Australia winning six Australian Film Institute Awards, including best screenplay and best director. Proof also won multiple prizes at various international film festivals. These include the Silver Hugo award in Chicago, the Golden Camera-Special Mention Award in Cannes, the 2nd place audience award at Mill Valley, the Bronze Award in Tokyo, and the Critics Award in São Paulo. Proof also earned Moorhouse the Sutherland Trophy at the British Film Institute Awards in 1992.[1]
  • Moorhouse also won an Australian Film Institute Award for best film for Muriel's Wedding.[1]


Year Film Director Producer Writer Awards
1983 Pavane
1986 The Siege of Barton's Bathroom
1991 Proof
AACTA Award for Best Direction
AACTA Award for Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted
BFI Sutherland Trophy
Cannes Film Festival Golden Camera
Chicago International Film Festival Silver Hugo
São Paulo International Film Festival Critics Award
Tokyo International Film Festival Bronze Award
1994 Muriel's Wedding
AACTA Award for Best Film
1995 How to Make an American Quilt
1997 A Thousand Acres
2002 Unconditional Love
2012 Mental
2015 The Dressmaker
AACTA People's Choice Award for Favourite Australian Film
AFCA Award for Best Screenplay
2nd place – Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Award
Nominated – AACTA Award for Best Direction
Nominated – AFCA Award for Best Director
Nominated – FCCA Award for Best Director


  • Unconditional Love: A Memoir of Filmmaking and Motherhood (2019)[16][17]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Australian Women's Register".
  2. ^ Maslin, Janet (20 March 1992). "Review/Film Festival; Acerbity and Escapism In 'Proof,' From Australia". The New York Times.
  3. ^ a b c d Rebecca Flint Marx (2014). "The New York Times". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 30 December 2014.
  4. ^ "How to Make an American Quilt". The Washington Post.
  5. ^ "'A Thousand Acres': Sow-Sow Potentially Fertile Farm Drama Plowed Under By Stale Conventions". Daily News. 1997.
  6. ^ Carver, Benedict (29 January 1999). "Oz pix pair wed best friend Sony". Variety. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  7. ^ "REVIEW: Sex With Strangers: Wharf 1, Sydney". Crikey. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  8. ^ "The Dressmaker Financed". Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Queensland crime drama Troppo coming to ABC". Screen Australia. 22 April 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  10. ^ "Muriel's Wedding". Rolling Stone.
  11. ^ Miraudo, Simon (3 October 2012). "Interview: PJ Hogan (Mental)". Quickflix. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  12. ^ THR Staff (6 January 2016). "Watch THR's Full, Uncensored Actress Roundtable With Jennifer Lawrence, Brie Larson and More". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  13. ^ Neill, Rosemary (26 September 2015). "Dressmaker director Jocelyn Moorhouse on Kate Winslet and Eucalyptus". The Australian. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  14. ^ Hassell, Greg (15 April 2019). "Filmmakers Jocelyn Moorhouse and PJ Hogan juggle movies and having children with autism". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Australian Story (iview)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  16. ^ a b Buckmaster, Luke (23 April 2019). "From Proof to Muriel's Wedding: Jocelyn Moorhouse on the films that broke Russell Crowe and Toni Collette". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  17. ^ Mooorhouse, Jocelyn (16 April 2019). Unconditional Love: A Memoir of Filmmaking and Motherhood. Text Publishing. ISBN 9781925773484.

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