Watch My Brilliant Career
- 1 hr 40 min
Set in late 19th century Australia, My Brilliant Career is a beautiful and moving story of a young woman named Sybylla Melvyn, played by Judy Davis. A fiery and independent spirit, Sybylla longs for a life beyond the societal expectations of women in her time. She struggles with the constraints placed upon her by the social norms of the era, as well as with her own headstrong nature. Despite the challenges she faces, Sybylla never loses sight of her dreams and her desire to break free from traditional female roles.
The film opens with Sybylla's childhood in rural New South Wales. Her family, once wealthy, has fallen on hard times, and Sybylla is sent to live with her grandmother. It is here that the seeds of Sybylla's rebellion are first sown. She is a precocious child, smart and curious about the world around her. Her grandmother encourages her independent spirit, and Sybylla develops a love for literature and learning.
As Sybylla grows into a young woman, her outspokenness and unconventional behavior become more problematic. She is often at odds with her mother, who wants her to marry well and live a comfortable life. But Sybylla is drawn to a life of adventure and intellectual pursuit. Her dreams are further encouraged by Harry Beecham, played by Sam Neill, a local landowner who recognizes her potential and encourages her to pursue her ambitions.
Despite her growing affection for Harry, Sybylla rebuffs his advances in favor of her own dreams. She leaves her family's farm to take a job as a governess, hoping to save enough money to travel to Europe and fulfill her literary aspirations. Along the way, she encounters a number of obstacles, including illness, poverty, and the expectations of those around her. But through it all, Sybylla remains steadfast in her commitment to her passions and her own unique vision of her future.
Judy Davis gives a phenomenal performance as Sybylla, capturing all the nuances of her character's complex personality. She is both vulnerable and tough, fiery and tender, at once rebellious and deeply human. Sam Neill is equally impressive as Harry, providing a perfect foil to Sybylla's headstrong spirit. Wendy Hughes is also superb as Sybylla's practical and loving mother, who wrestles with her daughter's unconventional desires.
Director Gillian Armstrong expertly captures the beautiful landscapes of rural Australia, providing a stunning backdrop for the story's emotional and intellectual themes. The script, adapted from the novel by Miles Franklin, is also first-rate, capturing the richness of the characters and their struggles in exquisite detail.
My Brilliant Career is a masterful work of cinema, both visually stunning and intellectually rich. Its themes of gender roles and societal expectations are as relevant today as they were when the film was released in 1979. Judy Davis's performance alone makes it a must-see, but the film's exquisite direction, script, and cinematography make it an enduring work of art.
My Brilliant Career is a 1979 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 77.