"My Brilliant Career" has traveled far afield to find success with American audiences. It comes from Australia, where the movie scene is currently bursting with activity. Directed by a young woman named Gill Armstrong, "My Brilliant Career" opened last fall at the New York Film Festival, where it was warmly received. Since then it has played a remarkably long engagement in New York, where it is still going strong, and has branched out to several other American cities. It isn't a widely visible film, but it seems to be delighting people wherever it does pop up.
The story comes from a novel originally published in 1901. The main character is a feisty young woman whose family is just itching for her to marry a local landowner. But she has a dream of her own: to embark on a "brilliant career" as a world-renowned authoress. She must choose between her own "great expectations" and everyone's ele's. In the process, she matures a good deal and has more than her share of quiet adventures.
"My Brilliant Career" is a calm and sunny movie, carrying a family-film G rating despite its essentially grown-up theme. As a bonus it contains a delicious performance by Australian actress Judy Davis -- a clear-eyed beauty whose character long-sufferingly endures countless insults about her "looks" because of a turn-of-the-century Australian prejudice against freckles!
Both of the guiding forces behind the movie, Miss Armstrong and Miss Davis, have the makings of major talents. One hopes the Australian movie scene continues to be generous in exporting examples of their very eloquent work.