Country Life

Watch Country Life

"Sometimes the further you travel the closer you get to home."
  • PG-13
  • 1994
  • 1 hr 58 min
  • 6.7  (824)

Country Life is a 1994 movie set in Australia during the 1940s. The story revolves around a wealthy and refined British couple, Dr. Max Askey (Sam Neill) and his wife Elizabeth (Greta Scacchi), who move to the Australian countryside seeking a peaceful and idyllic life. They buy a large estate and employ local labour to maintain and manage it.

The couple's arrival disrupts the lives of the locals who are set in their ways and have a strong connection to the land. Max and Elizabeth's inability to understand the customs and traditions of rural Australia creates tension with the villagers. Max spends most of his time in his laboratory working on research while Elizabeth tries to adjust to her new life. However, she still longs for the sophistication and cosmopolitan lifestyle she left behind.

The movie features plenty of beautiful rural landscapes, harsh living conditions and a conservative, old-fashioned society still holding onto traditions from the past. Max, who is interested in scientific research, hires not only workers but also locals who can help him with his experiments. Some of these men include the bawdy housewife, Mrs. Garrow (Victoria Longley) and the burly labourer, Sam (John Hargreaves).

Max and Elizabeth's relationship is strained by their opposing personalities and the totally different lifestyles that they desired. Max is more interested in his work and experiments while Elizabeth longs for a more sophisticated and cultural life. The couple don't connect on a deeper level despite being married, and rather than bringing them together, the country environment seems to highlight their differences.

The heart of the story is in its quiet and subtle moments. The tension between the couple is palpable and you can feel the growing resentment as they try to adapt to their new life. At the same time, the film also manages to explore the tensions and conflicts within the local community, from the resentful labourers, to the traditional and rigid attitudes of the older generations.

The film's pacing is deliberate and unhurried, allowing the viewer to soak up the picturesque country setting and experience the daily life of the rural environment. The pacing also allows for the complex relationships between the characters to develop, and the majority of the film sees those relationships simmering under the surface until they eventually boil over. As the story progresses, the underlying tensions within the community begin to rise until a tragic incident brings them to a head.

The movie features outstanding performances from its cast. Sam Neill delivers a nuanced performance as the troubled Dr. Max Askey, balancing arrogance and vulnerability with ease. Greta Scacchi provides a solid counterpart as Elizabeth, with her performance capturing a subtle yet devastating sense of isolation and boredom. Together, they create a believable, yet flawed, portrait of a marriage that is slowly coming apart at the seams.

John Hargreaves' character, Sam, is the most sympathetic figure in the film as he soaks up the beauty of the countryside and tries to come to terms with his place in society. His character embodies the struggle of Australian rural life – bound by the traditions of the land where social mobility is impossible and there are no prospects of a better future.

In conclusion, Country Life is a beautifully observed, elegiac exploration of life on the Australian frontier, as viewed through the eyes of outsiders. The movie is a slow and thoughtful study of life in rural Australia, and director Michael Blakemore handles the themes of isolation, cultural divide and the complicated dynamics between the characters with grace and wisdom. The film is a contemplative and compelling examination of the challenges of living in isolation, and it leaves a powerful impression, long after the credits roll.

Country Life is a 1994 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.

Country Life
Where to Watch Country Life
Country Life is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download on demand at . Some platforms allow you to rent Country Life for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (824)