Oscar and Lucinda (1997)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  31 December 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 5,468 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 49 user | 28 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

In mid-1800s England, Oscar is a young Anglican priest, a misfit and an outcast, but with the soul of an angel. As a boy, even though from a strict Pentecostal family, he felt God told him ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Oscar Hopkins
Reverend Dennis Hasset (as Ciaran Hinds)
Hugh Stratton
Mr. Jeffries
Bille Brown ...
Percy Smith
Josephine Byrnes ...
Miriam Chadwick
Jimmy D'Abbs
Betty Stratton
Narrator (voice)
Polly Cheshire ...
Young Lucinda
Gillian Jones ...
Elizabeth Leplastrier
Robert Menzies ...
Abel Leplastrier


In mid-1800s England, Oscar is a young Anglican priest, a misfit and an outcast, but with the soul of an angel. As a boy, even though from a strict Pentecostal family, he felt God told him through a sign to leave his father and his faith and join the Church of England. Lucinda is a teen-aged Australian heiress who has an almost desperate desire to liberate her sex from the confines of the male-dominated culture of the Australia of that time. She buys a glass factory and has a dream of building a church made almost entirely of glass, and then transporting it to Bellingen, a remote settlement on the north coast. Oscar and Lucinda meet on a ship going to Australia; once there, they are for different reasons ostracized from society, and as a result "join forces" together. Oscar and Lucinda are both passionate gamblers, and Lucinda bets Oscar her entire inheritance that he cannot transport the glass church to the Outback safely. Oscar accepts her wager, and this leads to the events that ... Written by M.E. Nelson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They dared to play the game of love, faith, and chance. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality, and for brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

31 December 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Oscar e Lucinda  »

Box Office


AUD 16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$137,163 (USA) (2 January 1998)


DEM 60,842 (Germany) (26 June 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Oscar & Lucinda race each other in scrubbing a passageway - but in doing so, they crawl over their handiwork. For a clean floor, you scrub going backwards. See more »


Lucinda: You will preach what you do not believe to men who do not care.
See more »


Referenced in Lost in Austen: Episode #1.3 (2008) See more »


Motetten - Lobet die Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Rochester Motettenchoir/Capella Fidicinia Leipzig
Courtesy of Capriccio Digital
See more »

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User Reviews

Strangely wonderful sort-of love story
16 April 2011 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Odd, unique, beautifully photographed character study/love story.

Two eccentrics, one the rich owner of a glass-works (Cate Blanchette), and one an emotionally damaged and physically fragile young minister (Ralph Fiennes) are united in friendship, and eventually romance by their obsession with gambling.

Blanchette is luminous and wonderful. Fiennes pushes at times, going right up to the edge and occasionally over it with his tics and quirks, but he's ultimately very deeply effecting.

A strange mix of tones, comic, romantic; it behaves both like an epic and a parody of one. But it has never failed to move me, and it's full of moments where the beautiful imagery dances so well with Thomas Newman's delicate score that I get a shiver.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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