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My Brilliant Career (2005)

Judy Davis , Sam Neill , Gillian Armstrong  |  G |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Judy Davis, Sam Neill, Wendy Hughes, Robert Grubb, Max Cullen
  • Directors: Gillian Armstrong
  • Writers: Eleanor Witcombe, Miles Franklin
  • Producers: Jane Scott, Margaret Fink
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS ES 6.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008GGN9I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,275 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Brilliant Career" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with Director Gillian Armstrong
  • Interview with Producer Margaret Fink
  • Cannes Film Festival Newsreel Featuring Star Judy Davis, Director Gillian Armstrong and Producer Margaret Fink
  • "The Miles Franklin Story"
  • Poster & Still Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Teachers' Study Guide DVD-ROM

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Winner of Six Australian Academy Awards, Including Best Picture and Best Director.

Exquisite 2-Disc Special Edition

This is the film that became a worldwide sensation and remains perhaps the most beloved and acclaimed romantic epic of all time. Oscar -nominee Judy Davis (Passage To India, Husbands and Wives) made her international debut as Sybylla Melvyn, a free spirited young writer who refues to conform to society's expectations of how a 'proper woman' should live her life. Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, The Piano) co-stars as the wealthy suitor who tries to win her restless heart in this Oscar nominated classic by Gillian Armstrong (Little Women, Starstruck). Long unavailable in America, My Brilliant Career has been fully restored and remastered in High Definition from the original negative, under the supervision of Academy Award nominated Director of Photography Donald McAlpine.

The acclaimed debut of Judy Davis is the best reason to see My Brilliant Career, and the award-winning film is highly recommended as the feature debut of director Gillian Armstrong. This was an early entry in the magnificent "New Australian Cinema" movement that yielded such classics as Picnic at Hanging Rock, Gallipoli, and Breaker Morant, and 27-year-old Armstrong (who would later direct the popular 1994 version of Little Women) brought just the right feminist touch to this stately adaptation of the 1901 semi-autobiographical novel by Miles Franklin. Davis (who was 23 at the time) plays 16-year-old Sybylla Melvyn, on the verge of womanhood in turn-of-the-century Australia and determined to have a "brilliant career" as an independent writer and lover of life, but her attraction to a wealthy bachelor (Sam Neill, charming as always), and the pressures of her family to lead a conventional life of devoted domesticity, turn this into a romantic and highly observant drama of personal dilemma and free-spirited conviction. It's no surprise that Davis and Armstrong went on to brilliant careers themselves (Davis starred in David Lean's A Passage to India just a few years later). --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Gillian Armstrong and Judy Davis (as the autobiographer, Sybilla Melvyn in the film, a woman named Miles Franklin in real life) made their stunning entrances into directing and acting stardom in this little gem of a film, stunningly photographed in the Outback of Australia by Donald McAlpine (whose genius would 20 yrs. later, be married to another Australian's genius, Baz Luhrmann, to bring us both "Romeo + Juliet" and the extraordinary "Moulin Rouge"), and who here brought the stark beauty of the Bush to life in glorious tones of gold and rust. This was later contrasted with the unexpectedly green, white-linen-ed, lush environment of Sybilla's grandmother's home, where she meets up with the quickly love-struck Harry Beecham (Sam Neill). Utterly charmed by her wit, energy, freedom of spirit, he is quickly bowled over by how different this untamed woman of the Outback is from his genteel friends, all of whom seem to have moved to Australia in order to transform it into England, and themselves into a sort of less costly version of the "aristocracy." He's unprepared for a woman whose early morning greeting consists of a pillow thrown out of a window onto his head, leading to an all-out pillow fight, when most of the young eligible women he knows are too busy learning to sip tea properly to even have the time, let alone the inclination, to chase him into a nearby meadow with a pillow as a weapon. Rolling around in the grass isn't what young ladies do at the turn of the century, even in only relatively civilized Australia, and this rollicking scene sums up both the reasons they get on so well and are so very imcompatible. For Sybilla, her playfulness is that of a free, fun-loving tomboy, while for him, it's more a form of courtship foreplay. Read more ›
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally released in DVD!!! June 21, 2004
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
It only took a decade. My Brilliant Career is FINALLY on DVD!!! It is a quiet tour de force of good acting, beautiful art direction and cinematography, a wonderful story about a writer coming out of girlish egotism to join a larger world and form a vision, and an intriguing picture of Victorian Australia among the immigrant society. Judy Davis is sparkle and tang playing the volatile Sybilla, very molten as she fires, cools and then erupts like any young adult. Sam Neill, aside from being very effective eyedrops that reminds you of Gary Cooper or Alan Bates, swaggers and holds fast as her suitor, being a willing foil to unpredictability. There are accomplished supporting performances that paint her story with pathos, a lot of humor with the steady understanding of the importance of family love. In the spirit of a time when passions were to be restrained and redirected into more interesting pursuits, My Brilliant Career stays in character in this modern visual medium by presenting passion in the guise of mischievous boat rides and a pillow fight for the ages. You'll feel the panic of dust blowing mercilessly through the windows, parental anxiety, teenage anxiety, affection in the muddiest and wealthier places, and the frustration of love. It is edifying enough to glimpse into that time as a history or anthropology lesson, or you can just sit back and let it entertain.

I first saw this movie on double bill following Night of the Shooting Stars (by the Taviani brothers) at a movie theater in Washington, D.C. It was like eating really good lasagna with a really good apple pie. You have to really focus on each film and not think about them together. A better partner to My Brilliant Career would be Pricilla, Queen of the Desert, Man from Snowy River, or Lantana.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful....Just wonderful.... March 2, 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is truly a joy to watch. It is about a young woman in turn-of-the-century Australia (which is very accurately portrayed in the film) who dreams from a young age of being a great artist, whether it be in music, literature, or acting. She is a loud, unruly girl born into poverty but given a chance to live with her rich grandmother, which is the beginning of everything. Two main suitors clamor for her hand in marriage, one of which she detests and one of which she loves - but she is faced with the decision of marriage to a man she actually likes, or to pursue her dream of artistic independence. Judy Davis gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Sybill, and Sam Neill is at his youngest. This a wonderful, endearing movie that you shouldn't be disappointed with.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By cal664
Format:VHS Tape
What's to say about "My Brilliant Career" that hasn't been said already? A superb first effort for then up and coming actors Judy Davis, Sam Neill, and director Gillian Armstrong. Those 3 are truly living up to the title of the film.

In answer to the previous reviewers here on, true that the film isn't available on DVD or new VHS for that matter in the USA. I heard there was a problem with who had the rights to the film in the last 10 years. Supposedly, some Panamanian company acquired the rights inadvertantly with a package of forgettable Aussie films. Margaret Fink, the producer, said she nearly dropped dead when she heard this. Fortunately, Fink and Australia reacquired "My Brilliant Career" in the last couple of years through legal means. That's why "My Brilliant Career" has already been released on new DVDs in the UK and Australia. I bought the Australian DVD because of the widescreen presentation and DVD extras that it has which include a great commentary by Gillian Armstrong as well as short interviews with producer Margaret Fink, Gillian Armstrong, film footage from Canne with Fink, Davis, and Armstrong, and more. It cost me about $23 (includes shipping from Australia) for a brand new DVD which is a bargain compared to how much used tapes go for on ebay. The UK version is cheaper but has no xtras I think. These region coded 2 or 4 DVDs will not play on a typical DVD player sold in the USA, but you can easily find certain DVD players sold at Bestbuy, Target, computer stores, etc... that can be made multi-region (region free) so they can play any DVD in the world. I bought myself one particular brand/model for $50. If you don't want to buy a region free player, you can also play foreign DVDs on your computer DVD-ROM drive easily.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie more than lived up to my memories of it.
Still a stunning movie and DVD in great shape and arrived fast. Interviews with the director and producer as extras very interesting additions. Read more
Published 7 days ago by nonnie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie!
Published 1 month ago by Debi H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A delightful bio-pic of a young Ausrtalian girl who works very hard to achieve a life of her own.
Published 1 month ago by Stephen Addiss
5.0 out of 5 stars Must a woman forfeit a devoted relationship with a good man if she...
Must a woman forfeit a devoted relationship with a good man if she also is devoted to developing her career? Read more
Published 3 months ago by NCTH
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
I loved this movie when it was first released, and seeing it again many years later, it's still one of my favorites. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Laura in Kansas
3.0 out of 5 stars Great cast and acting but---
I don't know what to say about this "period" piece. By "period" I mean ----so Seventies; is Neo feminism the term I'm searching for? Read more
Published 7 months ago by BUXUS SEMPERVIRENS
Published 7 months ago by LIZA DELLA REESE
4.0 out of 5 stars An old favorite viewed with fresher perspective
When I first watched this film in my teens, I thought Sybylla was the most awesome character ever, even a role model, especially for the time and location depicted - fiery,... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Qookie Queen
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the book and movie!
I had read the book, seen the movie, and knew I wanted a copy of both. I have a fascination with life in Australia too.
Published 9 months ago by Wellred_2
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Retreat to Yesteryear
This movie takes us to the Outback in the late 1880's and beyond. Based on the actual life experiences of Miles Franklin, this is an adaptation of her autobiography. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Tell Me a Story
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