The heroine, Sybylla (Davis), a headstrong girl growing up in early 20th century Australia, has the opportunity of marriage to a wealthy young man (Harry played by Niel) whom she loves, but... See full summary »
The heroine, Sybylla (Davis), a headstrong girl growing up in early 20th century Australia, has the opportunity of marriage to a wealthy young man (Harry played by Niel) whom she loves, but rejects it in order to maintain her independence, preferring to take a job as governess/housekeeper to the family of an illiterate neighbor to whom her father owes money. Written by
The haunting melody Judy Davis practices on the piano is from Schumann's "Scenes from Childhood". See more »
Dear fellow countrymen, just a few words to let you know that this story is going to be all about me. So, in answer to many requests, here is the story of my career... here is the story, of my career...my brilliant career. I make no apologies for sounding egotistical...because I am!
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Watching this film made me think of what a strong character Sybylla is. In a time when doing something like trying to have a career, as a woman, was basically not done we are introduced to someone who is so head strong that she doesn't care what anyone says. One thing that I really enjoyed about this movie is the relationship between Sybylla and Harry Beecham because of the way it was presented. Usually a love relationship in a film is something that is just expected after one interaction, the audience should just know that since we see these two characters together they are now in love, nothing that you see actually develop on screen with multiple encounters and a progress of feelings. I felt like a huge part of this story was the development of the Harry/Sybylla connection. It's obvious early in the film that she cares for no one else, when she throws the flowers given to her by Frank in the river we see she has no intention of giving him a second thought. We see through the numerous encounters with these two that they both have very strong feelings for the other and it is finally revealed when he proposes to her. She takes this offer very seriously but realizes that if she is to be true to herself she cannot accept his offer. This hurts both of them very much and we can see that when she is teaching the family that her father is indebted to and she is not able to write him a letter. When he shows up at her family's farm two years later and re-offers his proposal it is another account of just how much she means to him. When she declines again it is for her reasons and for her career that she is not able to accept. I think that this is a great characteristic of her in this film and helps to make the point of how she is such a strong willed woman who will not settle for less then what she knows she is capable of.
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