Thursday, February 5, 2009

My Brilliant Career

I watched an old Australian movie from the 1970's on the weekend called My Brilliant Career, it is one of my favourite movies to watch, i remember seeing it many years ago and it stayed in my memory forever.

I was able to buy the movie last week as there is a movie magazine series that you can buy every fortnight of Australia movies and this was one of them.
Ive been looking to buy this movie for years and this is the first time Ive been able to find it so i was of course very happy.

The movie is bassed on a story written by Miles Franklin, who was born as Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin in 1879, she was was an Australian writer and feminist

When the book came out many people thought that it was true to what Miles life was like, with many similarities born on a grazing property, her maternal grandmother near Tumut (NSW), early part of her life at Brindabella, property near Goulburn, NSW, and then in 1903 to Penrith (NSW)

What the movie is about is a women called Sybilla a headstrong girl growing up in late 19th century Australia, and her journey to finding her self.

The movie starts of with her living at her parents house where Sybylla's shoes are tied with string, at 17 she is the eldest child and is sent to do men based jobs like, milking cows, chopping wood and chasing after her father at the pub, but when she goes inside her parents h0use she is to be a lady again.
With having to do most of the manly jobs Sybylla rarely gets the chance to fulfill her artistic passions for writing, acting and music

Her parents tell Sybylla that she needs to get a job as they are not being able to afford to keep her anymore. What happens is that she is sent to stay with her maternal Grandmother where she is praised for her piano playing and freed from any agricultural labour. While living there Sybylla shows impatience with the argument that "marriage shows women respectability", but as Sybylla seems to realise that gender does not transcend class, even though a higher social position may offer a women more comfortable forms of subordination

While she is there she meets one of the neighbours Harry Beecham, after getting to know each other Harry asks Sybylla to marry him, she says she cannot as she is to young and would tell him in three years where she will give him an answer. I wont spoil this by telling you what the answer is when he does go back to see her.

Sybylla thinks of herself as ugly and thinks that no man would ever want to marry her, she shows it with this.... Sybylla: I think ugly girls should be shot at birth by their parents, its bad enough being born a girl, but ugly and clever.

Miles Franklin died in 1954. In her will she bequeathed her estate to establish an annual literary award known as The Miles Franklin Award

The movie had two unknowns in the lead rolls
  • Sybylla ---- Judy Davis
  • Harry Beecham ---- Sam Neill

It was directed by Gillian Armstrong who is now known by other movies she directed
  • Charlotte Gray
  • Oscar and Lucinda
  • Little Women