Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Biography, Drama
  • 1979
  • 100 mins

My Brilliant Career

My Brilliant Career

Synopsis

Judy Davis and Sam Neill lead this multi-award winning coming-of-age drama set in Australia at the start of the last century.

About

An ambitious young girl dreams of becoming a writer but circumstances conspire against her.

Based on the novel by Miles Franklin this quietly powerful drama launched the careers of Davis, Neill and director Gillian Armstrong and remains a high point in the great Aussie film renaissance of the late 70s.

Sybylla Melvyn (Davies) is the oldest daughter of impoverished New South Wales farmers. Dreaming of escape and a career as a writer she forfeits romance with Harry Beacham (Neill) and takes a job as a governess in the repressive McSwatt household, all the while nursing her literary ambitions. It's a gamble that pays off and eventually Sybylla finds success as a writer and, just as significantly, as an independent woman.

At the time of the film's release much was made of its feminist credentials and Armstrong is certainly as interested in the social issues as the human drama. However it avoids polemic, the romance between Davis and Neill is delicately played out and what emerges is an articulate study of a strong and intelligent woman's battle for self-determination.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Patricia Kennedy, Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Robert Grubb, Wendy Hughes, Max Cullen
  • Director: Gillian Armstrong
  • Writer: Eleanor Witcombe
  • Producer: Margaret Fink
  • Photographer: Donald McAlpine
  • Composer: Nathan Waks

In a nutshell

Slow but rewarding character piece that delivers its message of female emancipation with subtlety and grace.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Youth

    Youth

    Fred and Mick, two old friends now approaching 80, are on vacation together in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. The two friends know that their time is quickly running out, and they decide to face their future together.

  • Film4 The Stranger Wore a Gun

    The Stranger Wore a Gun

    Randolph Scott stars in a Western about a former spy who relocates to Ariozna to join a gold robbbery, but quickly reassesses his decision

    On Film4: 21 Apr 1:05PM

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Mike Leigh announces new film, Peterloo

    Mike Leigh's next project will look at Peterloo - the infamous 1819 massacre by government forces at a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter's Field in Manchester, when 700 working people were inju

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Four Film4-backed films selected In Competition at Cannes 2015

    Four Film4-backed films ¿ Todd Haynes¿ Carol, Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster, Paolo Sorrentino¿s Youth and Justin Kurzel¿s Macbeth ¿ have been invited into official selection at this year¿s Cannes film

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share