The Last Days of Chez Nous
|The Last Days of Chez Nous|
Region 2 DVD cover
|Directed by||Gillian Armstrong|
|Produced by||Jan Chapman|
|Written by||Helen Garner|
|Music by||Paul Grabowsky|
|Edited by||Nicholas Beauman
|Distributed by||Fine Line Features|
The Last Days of Chez Nous is an Australian drama film, directed by Gillian Armstrong and written by Helen Garner. Made in a style that emphasizes naturalism over melodrama, the film centres on what happens after Vicki arrives at the house of her older sister Beth, whose French husband falls for her. The film stars Bruno Ganz as the Frenchman JP, New Zealand actor Kerry Fox as the impulsive younger sister, and Lisa Harrow as her older sibling. The cast also includes Miranda Otto and Bill Hunter.
- Lisa Harrow as Beth
- Bruno Ganz as J.P.
- Kerry Fox as Vicki
- Miranda Otto as Annie
- Kiri Paramore as Tim
- Bill Hunter as Beth's Father
- Lex Marinos as Angelo
- Mickey Camilleri as Sally
- Lynne Murphy as Beth's Mother
- Claire Haywood as Janet
- Leanne Bundy as Susie
- Wilson Alcorn as Cafe Dero
Helen Garner had written her first script for Jan Chapman, 2 Friends. The two of them worked on the idea of Chez Nous for a number of years before developing it into a screenplay. Chapman then approached Gillian Armstrong who said:
I really loved it because I love Helen's writing. I think she has incredibly acute observation of people and wonderful poetry in her writing. I did think the biggest challenge was that so much was in one house, but I took that on board and thought, well, we'll just have to do everything possible to make people still feel they're watching a movie. After all, the house is also a character in the story.
The film was entirely funded by the Film Fund of the Film Finance Corporation. Armstrong made the movie straight after Fires Within and enjoyed it much more because the Hollywood film had been such a bad experience.
Awards and reception
Lisa Harrow won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the film was nominated for the AFI's Best Picture award. The film was entered into the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival.
The Last Days of Chez Nous grossed $1,018,866 at the box office in Australia,.
- Raffaele Caputo, "Gillian Armstrong: The Last Days of Chez Nous", Cinema Papers, October 1992 p5-8
- "Interview with Gillian Armstrong", Signet, 4 September 1998 accessed 17 November 2012
- Andrew L. Urban, "The Last Days of Chez Nous", Cinema Papers, May 1991 p19-22
- "Berlinale: 1992 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 27 May 2011.
- "The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
- Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office