Rent My Brilliant Career (1979)

3.7 of 5 from 97 ratings
1h 35min
Rent My Brilliant Career Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Sybylla Melvyn (Judy Davis) is the eldest daughter of an impoverished New South Wales farming family. Bold and determined, Sybylla dreams of succeeding as an acclaimed writer. But in a time of sexist ignorance and bigotry Sybylla has frequent clashes with procrustean conformists. Though it is her love for the dashing Harry Beacham (Sam Neill) that will truly test her desire to succeed as a writer. As events twist and turn, Sybylla is painfully forced to realise the emotional cost of putting her career over love. 'My Brilliant Career' is a delicate parable of one woman's fight for independence, and the sacrifices of the heart that must be made along the way.
Actors:
, , , , , Aileen Britton, , , , , , Marion Shad, Arron Wood, , , , , Suzanne Roylance, Zelda Smyth, Bobbie Ward
Directors:
Producers:
Margaret Fink
Writers:
Eleanor Witcombe, Miles Franklin
Others:
Anna Senior
Studio:
Cinema Club
Genres:
Drama, Romance
Countries:
Australia
Awards:

1981 BAFTA Best Actress

BBFC:
Release Date:
01/09/2003
Run Time:
95 minutes
Languages:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
27/05/2019
Run Time:
100 minutes
Languages:
English
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Audio commentary from 2009 featuring Armstrong
  • New interview with Armstrong
  • Interview from 1980 with actor Judy Davis
  • New interview with production designer Luciana Arrighi
  • One Hundred a Day (1973), a student short film by Armstrong
  • Trailer
  • An essay by critic Carrie Rickey

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Reviews (1) of My Brilliant Career

Classic Australian movie - My Brilliant Career review by ER

Spoiler Alert
19/02/2020

This film was a mould-breaker with a strong female character to root for. Inspired by Little Women, no doubt, Sybilla (JUDY DAVIS) defies society's need to get her married, by falling in love with neighbour Harry (SAM NEILL) but rebuffing his marriage proposals to purse a career as a writer.Set at the turn of the 20th century in rural NSW, this is a spirited and funny tale of adversity in the face of stuffy convention. Nowadays, films like this are envogue and being made regularly, bearing in mind that this was released in the late 1970s this must have been a game changer. It certainly helped to launch the international film careers of Judy Davis and Sam Neill. This paved the way for The Piano, Portrait of a Woman on Fire,Pride & Prejudice and other Austen/Bronte adaptations, Little Women remakes and so many more.

If you love Australian cinema, then this is an enduring classic. I've been meaning to see it for years and years to see whether it lived up to its fine reputation, and it certainly does. It's a shame the DVD transfer is quite poor (and there's no subtitles) (not Cinema Paradiso's fault as this movie is hard to come by streaming so at least they've kept it available!) - I will keep an eye for a restored version or a blu-ray.

Engrossing, funny and ahead of its time.

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