Sybylla Melvyn is an independent young woman who soon after arriving to live with her Grandmother Bossier and aunt Helen announces that she will never marry and plans on having a career ... See full summary »
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Sybylla Melvyn is an independent young woman who soon after arriving to live with her Grandmother Bossier and aunt Helen announces that she will never marry and plans on having a career instead. She does attracts the interest of several suitors. The bumbling Englishman Frank Hawdon has only been in Australia for three months and proposes that she return home with him as his wife. She rejects him out of hand telling her grandmother that she does not love him. Then there's her neighbor, the handsome young farmer Harry Beecham, who she is attracted to and eventually accepts his proposal. Time passes however and in the end refuses to marry him while she seeks to become a writer. Written by
A quiet, rewarding story of a young woman's ambition
Judy Davis is Sybylla, a girl of the Australian outback around 1909. As portrayed by Davis, in her breakthrough role, Sybylla is a font of boundless energy wanting desperately to escape the backwardness of her young life. Sam Neill, also in one of the significant early roles of his career, is likewise charming as the young man who presents her with a tempting alternative to her ambition to become a writer and escape the frontier life forever.
This is not a great or epic story, certainly, but it is a quiet, rewarding story of a young woman's quest for a better life. A worthy entry among the films that marked the ascendancy of the "Australian Renaissance" in film-making during the 1970s; director Armstrong would go on to make such films as "Mrs. Soffel" and the 1994 "Little Women."
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