Jocelyn Moorhouse

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Jocelyn Moorhouse
Jocelyn Moorhouse at the premiere of The Dressmaker.jpg
Moorhouse at the premiere of The Dressmaker at TIFF, September 2015
Born (1960-09-04) 4 September 1960 (age 55)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation Film director, screenwriter
Spouse(s) P.J. Hogan

Jocelyn Denise Moorhouse (born 4 September 1960) is an Australian writer and film director born in Victoria, Australia on 4 September 1960.

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 went on to direct films such as Proof,[1] How to Make an American Quilt[2] and A Thousand Acres.[3] In 2005 she commenced as the director for Russell Crowe's film Eucalyptus, but resigned within days of starting work on it.[4]

She is married to film director P. J. Hogan, and produced his film Muriel's Wedding.[5] In 2012, Moorhouse was a producer on another P. J. Hogan directed film, Mental.

In 2012, Moorhouse directed her first play Sex with Strangers for the Sydney Theatre Company. In October 2014, she started filming The Dressmaker, with Kate Winslet and Judy Davis.[6]

Life and career[edit]

Jocelyn Moorhouse attended Vermont High School to complete her high school certificate and graduated in 1978. She then enrolled in the Australian Film, Television, and Radio School (AFTRS). It was while studying here where she completed her first short film entitled Pavane in 1983. Moorhouse then graduated from AFTRS in 1984 and stared work as television script editor. Some of the television shows she worked on included The Flying Doctors, Out of the Blue, A Place to Call Home, and The Humpty Dumpty Man.[7] Moorhouse made her feature film debut in 1991 with Proof. The idea for the film came from Moorhouse’s interest in blindness and photography. She initially intended on this being a short film but since she wasn’t able to secure the funding for a short she decided to make it into a feature film instead.[7] It took Proof five years to go into production, but when it did it had a budget of 1.1 million dollars. The film ended up taking six weeks to shoot in Melbourne during the winter of 1990.[8]

The success of Proof allowed Moorhouse to get bigger and better opportunities. She followed up that film with her first "Hollywood blockbuster" with How to Make an American Quilt(1995). The film had a talented cast which featured Anne Bancroft, Winona Ryder, Kate Nelligan, Dermot Mulroney, and Alfre Woodard. The film was met with mixed reviews.[8]

Her next feature film was A Thousand Acres(1997). It was 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. The film starred Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jason Robards. This film, just like How to Make an American Quilt, was met with mixed reviews.[8]

Moorhouse is married to director P.J. Hogan. She was the screenwriter for one of his films entitled Unconditional Love(2001) This was her second project with her husband as they both collaborated on Muriel's Wedding.[8]

Moorhouse's most recent project is The Dressmaker(2015). The film stars Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth, and Hugo Weaving. The film is 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.


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 Sao Paulo. Proof also enabled Moorhouse to win the Sutherland Trophy at the British Film Institute Awards. Moorhouse also won an Australian Film Institute Award for best film for Muriel's Wedding.[7]



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