For forty years Lilian Singer has been locked up in a 'loony bin' by her father. Her release is eventually secured by her eccentric Aunt Kitty and her brother, John. Lilian starts to carve ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Clockwatchers (1997)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The relationship between four female temps all working for the same credit company is threatened with the arrival of a new hire, who lands a permanent position one of the women was vying for.

Director: Jill Sprecher
Stars: Toni Collette, Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow
Diana & Me (1997)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Australian Diana Spencer wins a competition in a women's magazine, and as a prize gets a trip for two to London, where she wants to meet her idol and namesake, Princess Diana. She goes ... See full summary »

Director: David Parker
Stars: Toni Collette, Dominic West, Malcolm Kennard
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

After an audacious jewellery robbery the whole James family heads for home on the run with the obsessive detective Julia Armstrong in hot pursuit.

Director: Mike Barker
Stars: John Hannah, Helen McCrory, Jason Flemyng
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Against the background of an Australian desert, Sandy, a geologist, and Hiromitsu, a Japanese businessman, play out a story of human inconsequence in the face of the blistering universe. ... See full summary »

Director: Sue Brooks
Stars: Toni Collette, Gotaro Tsunashima, Lynette Curran
The Boys (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Brett Sprague is a violent and psychopathic man, who is released on parole after serving a sentence for assault. As he returns to his family house and we watch him and his brothers, Stevie ... See full summary »

Director: Rowan Woods
Stars: David Wenham, Toni Collette, Lynette Curran
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Hotel Splendide is on a remote and cold island, accessible only by a once-a-month ferry. It's a dark and dreary spa created by the late Dame Blanche, whose grown children now run the ... See full summary »

Director: Terence Gross
Stars: Toni Collette, Daniel Craig, Katrin Cartlidge
Cosi (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Lewis is a young Sydney amateur theater director at his first experience: he is offered a job with a Governmental program for the rehabilitation of mentally ill patients in a Sydney ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Joffe
Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Barry Otto, Toni Collette
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A coming-of-age story about a 13-year-old girl trying to fit into both a posh private school and an ordinary public school.

Director: Cathy Randall
Stars: Danielle Catanzariti, Cassandra Jinman, Talia Monaghan
8 ½ Women (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Following the death of a mother, a father and son open up a brothel in their Genevan estate after watching (1963).

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: John Standing, Matthew Delamere, Vivian Wu
Jailbirds (1996)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Ein weiteres Highlight am deutschen Kinohimmel. Ein Förderprogramm bringt die beiden Knackis Gerd und Steinbock in die Obhut von Frauen. Dort sollen sie beweisen, dass sie in der Lage sind ... See full summary »

Director: Detlev Buck
Stars: Til Schweiger, Detlev Buck, Leander Haußmann
Dirty Deeds (2002)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

1973 Sydney: An Australian gangster sees booming business, due to U.S. soldiers being in town for relaxing between their tours to the Vietnam war, attracts the attention of first the Chicago mafia, and then their East Coast competitors.

Director: David Caesar
Stars: Bryan Brown, Toni Collette, John Goodman
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A married man's one-night stand comes back to haunt him when that lover begins to stalk him and his family.

Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer


Cast overview, first billed only:
Ruth Cracknell ...
John Singer
John Flaus ...
Head Orderly
Lyle O'Hara ...
Kate Agnew ...
Fiona Press ...
Pat Hutchinson ...
Rachel Szalay ...
Inmate One
Kris Bidenko ...
Inmate Two
Janet Foye ...
Inmate Three
Deborah Foster ...
Inmate Four
Iris Shand ...
Aunt Kitty
Michael Greir ...
Driver of Kitty's Cab


For forty years Lilian Singer has been locked up in a 'loony bin' by her father. Her release is eventually secured by her eccentric Aunt Kitty and her brother, John. Lilian starts to carve out a place for herself. As she explores Sydney and the people who live and work around her she sees others looking for love. Lilian shows us it is never too late to change your life and that even unusual choices can bring contentment. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everything matters







Release Date:

25 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Historia Liliany  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,220 (USA) (26 March 1999)


$1,220 (USA) (26 March 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Ruth Cracknell was the one who suggested Toni Collette having been a huge fan of hers since she saw her in Muriel's Wedding. Collette was also a huge fan of Cracknell's and of the show Mother and Son and was excited to hear Cracknell was a huge fan of hers too. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Gorgeous Australian drama about a woman's lifelong struggles with mental illness and family relationships.
11 December 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I don't agree with the other persons post, he/she is entitled to their opinion but i fell in love with this film. I adore Australian cinema and have always sort out the golden gems through the years since i was a teenager. This film came out at a time when i needed it! Lilian as the older woman portrayed struggles to cope with being out of hospital after a long period. Suffering from mental illness myself i identified with the feelings of isolation and depression portrayed. The flashbacks worked for me as i could connect with her as to why she may have ended up so scared and alone. I recommend this film if u want to see Toni Collettes earlier work and it is one of Ruth Cracknells final films and the haunting lines she utters still ring now! Not a masterpiece but a fine Australian production.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Toni Collette...great actress! noirsam
Discuss Lilian's Story (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: