This movie is based on a novel by Miles Franklin based on the time she was a teenage girl and first published in 1901. The setting is the Australian outback just before the turn of the 20th century. Sybylla Melvyn is the daughter of a poor farmer but she wants something more for her life. Her mother tells her they can’t afford to provide for her and she’s found a position for Sybylla as a home servant. Sybylla wants nothing to do with type of a life!! The plans change and she is sent to live with her grandmother instead. This household gets a surprise when she arrives since Sybylla has a difficult time being conventional. She is worried about being shackled in marriage but cautioned that to be a free spirit is to be lonely. She falls in love with wealthy landowner Harry Beecham but she asks him to wait on marriage for two years. She wants to discover what more is out there for her life.
I thought this film was interesting both because of the personality of Sybylla and also because of living during this period in the countryside of New South Wales. I also liked the clothing, hairstyles and rules of society during this time. I like Davis and Neill as actors and films from Australia. 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
100 min, Drama directed by Gillian Armstrong with Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes, Robert Grubb, Max Cullen, Aileen Britton, Peter Whitford, Patricia Kennedy, Alan Hopgood, Julia Blake, David Franklin, Marion Shad.
Note: Imdb 7.4 out of 10, 81% critic 67% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.3* out of 5* with 47 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Camden Park House, Menangle and Monaro region, New South Wales, Australia. The director, producers, scriptwriter, first billed actor, production designer, costume designer, production supervisor, bookkeeper and accountant were all women.