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My Brilliant Career (1979)

A young independent woman who lives with her grandmother and aunt in the countryside rebels against being pressured into marriage and chooses to solely focus on having a career as a writer. Nevertheless, two suitors propose to her.

Director:

Gillian Armstrong

Writers:

Eleanor Witcombe (screenplay), Miles Franklin (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judy Davis ... Sybylla Melvyn
Sam Neill ... Harry Beecham
Wendy Hughes ... Aunt Helen
Robert Grubb ... Frank Hawdon
Max Cullen ... Mr. McSwatt
Aileen Britton Aileen Britton ... Grandma Bossier
Peter Whitford ... Uncle Julius
Patricia Kennedy Patricia Kennedy ... Aunt Gussie
Alan Hopgood Alan Hopgood ... Father
Julia Blake ... Mother
David Franklin ... Horace
Marion Shad Marion Shad ... Gertie
Arron Wood Arron Wood ... Stanley (as Aaron Wood)
Sue Davies Sue Davies ... Aurora
Gordon Piper Gordon Piper ... Barman
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes it is the things that bind us, that truly set us free. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1979 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

My Brilliant Career See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anna Senior's costume design of Sybylla Melvyn (Judy Davis)'s dress was inspired and influenced by a painting of artist Tom Roberts which can be seen in the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sybylla: Possum Gully, Australia. 1897. Dear fellow countrymen, just a few lines 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 apology for being egotistical... because I am!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in On Location with 'Robbery Under Arms' (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Even twenty odd years after I first saw it, this film makes me want to cheer. Gillian Armstrong, if you're out there, thank you!
4 December 2000 | by wseSee all my reviews

My mother took me to see this film when I was ten, the year before she died. It changed my entire perspective on the world, set me free from the constraints of fairy tales and inspired me to do something worthwhile with my life (write). I've seen it a few times since then, and found it improved in pace with my understanding.

Apparently Judy Davis didn't like this character or sympathize with her. All I can say is that I'm glad she went ahead and took the role anyway. Sybylla is like Cinderella with a twist worthy of M. Night Shymalan.

The film is sometimes beautiful and lyrical, sometimes depressing and ugly. At all times it is believable because the forces driving Sybylla transcend time and place: creativity and independence. This film taught me that a gilded cage is still a cage.

Even twenty odd years after I first saw it, this film makes me want to cheer. Gillian Armstrong, if you're out there, thank you!


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