An introspective young woman's life is upturned by the arrival of her maladjusted sister.

Director:

Jane Campion

Writers:

Gerard Lee (screenplay), Jane Campion (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geneviève Lemon Geneviève Lemon ... Dawn 'Sweetie'
Karen Colston ... Kay
Tom Lycos Tom Lycos ... Louis
Jon Darling Jon Darling ... Gordon
Dorothy Barry Dorothy Barry ... Flo
Michael Lake Michael Lake ... Bob
Andre Pataczek Andre Pataczek ... Clayton
Jean Hadgraft Jean Hadgraft ... Mrs. Schneller
Paul Livingston Paul Livingston ... Teddy Schneller
Louise Fox Louise Fox ... Cheryl
Ann Merchant Ann Merchant ... Paula
Robyn Frank Robyn Frank ... Ruth (as Robin Frank)
Bronwyn Morgan Bronwyn Morgan ... Sue
Sean Fennell Sean Fennell ... Boy Clerk
Sean Callinan Sean Callinan ... Simboo
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Storyline

Based solely on a tea leaf reading, superstitious and introspective Kay believes she and Louis are destined to fall in love with each other, he who she is able to convince of the same despite he just having gotten engaged to her co-worker, Cheryl. That destiny may change with the fortunes of what she sees as the next symbol of their relationship, a somewhat sickly elder tree Louis plants in their garden for their one year anniversary. Their relationship is placed under a strain with the arrival of Kay's formerly institutionalized sister Dawn - nicknamed Sweetie - and Sweetie's current boyfriend, Bob, who Sweetie believes will help her get into show business. Kay's pleas to her father Gordon to help get Sweetie out of her house go largely ignored, as he has never judged Sweetie, who he still sees as his performing loving little girl. Gordon is facing his own issues as Kay and Sweetie's mother, Flo, has just left him on a trial separation, their issues largely stemming from his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Campion's directorial film debut. See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits first list Jane Campion as director and then there is a note 'For my sister'. See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Cinema: 40,000 years of dreaming (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Far Beyond Us
Composed by Tony Backhouse
Lyrics adapted from the Jewish Prayerbook by Tony Backhouse
Performed by the Café of the Gate of Salvation Choir
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User Reviews

 
Campion's Brilliant Direction Works Again
14 June 2005 | by ibfilmstudiesSee all my reviews

This film is one of the best films ever written and shot about the effects of mental illness on the psycho-dynamics of a family. Shot with a strongly claustrophobic sense of misé-en-scene, the extended family of Louis, Mom, Dad, Kay and Sweetie always crowd and clutter the frame, unable to extricate themselves physically and emotionally from one another. Geneviève Lemon's performance of a mentally ill young women (Sweetie/Dawn) sends chills up the spine of anyone who has worked with those who suffer like this. Although it does contain some nudity and slight sexual content, the dramatic push of the film as a whole makes this an extremely moving film even for teenagers, especially for families who are coping with mental illness. Campion's writing and above all her directing soars in this profound and compelling film.


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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1989 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweetie See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$20,403, 21 January 1990

Gross USA:

$938,065

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$938,562
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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