6.6/10
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53 user 30 critic

Oscar and Lucinda (1997)

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 »

Director:

Gillian Armstrong

Writers:

Laura Jones (screenplay), Peter Carey (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Oscar Hopkins
Cate Blanchett ... Lucinda Leplastrier
Ciarán Hinds ... Reverend Dennis Hasset (as Ciaran Hinds)
Tom Wilkinson ... Hugh Stratton
Richard Roxburgh ... Mr. Jeffries
Clive Russell ... Theophilus
Bille Brown Bille Brown ... Percy Smith
Josephine Byrnes ... Miriam Chadwick
Barnaby Kay ... Wardley-Fish
Barry Otto ... Jimmy D'Abbs
Linda Bassett ... Betty Stratton
Geoffrey Rush ... Narrator (voice)
Polly Cheshire Polly Cheshire ... Young Lucinda
Gillian Jones Gillian Jones ... Elizabeth Leplastrier
Robert Menzies Robert Menzies ... Abel Leplastrier
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Goofs

While taking the glass church from Sydney to Bellingen, Oscar crosses the scenic Blue Mountains. They should not be on his route. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: In order that I exist, two gamblers, one obsessive, the other compulsive, must meet.
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Soundtracks

Motetten - Lobet die Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Rochester Motettenchoir and Capella Fidicinia Leipzig
Courtesy of Capriccio Digital
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User Reviews

 
"In order that I exist, two gamblers - one obsessive, one compulsive - must declare themselves."
26 February 1999 | by SKG-2See all my reviews

I don't know what it is about Ralph Fiennes and Booker Prize-winning novels (like 1996's THE ENGLISH PATIENT), but this shows him to have a pretty good track record with them. This novel was extremely difficult to follow, but director Gillian Armstrong, who also did a good job with her adaptation of the more straightforward LITTLE WOMAN, cuts through the confusing storyline to make an entertaining and thoughtful film about gambling, religion, and, of course, love. She and writer Laura Jones can't quite defeat some of the overdone symbolism of the novel (like the glass church), but for the most part, this avoids the stateliness of many literary adaptations by being alive.

Fiennes took awhile to warm up for me as Oscar, because this is a more outwardly nervous character than he's ever played before, and the voice he uses takes getting used to as well. Once I got over that, I enjoyed his performance. But the real star here is Cate Blanchett as Lucinda; she is simply enchanting, and you can really see the fire in her eyes. The supporting cast is excellent as well.


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Details

Country:

USA | Australia | UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

31 December 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Oscar and Lucinda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$83,461, 4 January 1998

Gross USA:

$1,897,404

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,897,404
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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