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Oscar and Lucinda (1997)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 5,296

My Rating

Movie Info

Australian director Gillian Armstrong directed this Laura Jones adaptation of Peter Carey's 1988 Booker Prize-winning novel. In a lengthy flashback, Oscar Hopkins' great grandson (Geoffrey Rush) narrates the family history that led to his birth. On an Australian farm, Lucinda Leplastrier was tutored by her intelligent mother, a woman who took part in the early feminist movement. Oscar's lonely boyhood in rural England was under the watchful eye of his preacher father. At Oxford to train as a


Drama, Romance, Art House & International

Laura Jones

Jan 11, 2005

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

Watch It Now



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All Critics (54) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (11) | DVD (4)

This is after all a Gillian Anderson picture, which means the film's physical production is just as impressive as its spiritual apsiration; Cate Blanchett, in a role originally intended for Judy Davis, is bound to become a major star

December 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fiennes and Blanchett have a special magic and air of giddy humor about them when they are together.

March 31, 2009 Full Review Source:

Poetic and poignant film about two oddballs who are destined to meet and to fill each other with delight.

August 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

After a promising opening, the film meanders so much I thought it would never end.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

a beautifully observed, wildly unpredictable period piece that's part bittersweet comedy, part adventure and altogether enchanting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: James Sanford on Film
James Sanford on Film

Has trouble creating compelling characters.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Prettiness, yoked to stirring melodramatic material, is simply overburdened with more than it can deliver.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Oscar and Lucinda

The mid 1800's is a tough time to be a lady or gentleman. Oscar and Lucinda are meant for each other, but they have to fight through society's rules and Oscar's fear of water. The scene of the glass church floating down the river is pretty cool.
July 24, 2012

Super Reviewer

Sloooooooow and ponderous.
September 7, 2008
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Oscar and Lucinda" is about two young people, Oscar and Lucinda, who start out on opposite sides of the world in the 19th century. They have a mania in common: gambling.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Oscar(Ralph Fiennes, doing a spot-on impression of Juliet Stevenson) is a troubled divinity student at Oxford. One day, a fellow student drags him to the racecourse and Oscar wins his first bet. He continues to do well with gambling; donating most of what he wins to charity. But terribly wracked with guilt, he chooses missionary work in New South Wales, Australia.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Lucinda(Cate Blanchett) is an heiress from rural Australia. Almost on a whim, she decides to purchase a glass works with her inheritance. She is introduced to cardplaying by her social acquaintances and is hooked.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Oscar and Lucinda" is a beautiful, well-made allegorical movie about the debate between a fixed universe and what chance has to play in our lives. Oscar has a firm belief in a higher power but he still gambles. It's a contradiction when he introduces chance into a world he believes has been designed by a higher power. Water has a symbolic part to play in this movie, too. In Christianity, water is seen as a cleansing agent and is used for baptism but Oscar has a raging fear of it due to him associating it with his mother's death. The movie is also helped along by fine support from Tom Wilkinson and Ciaran Hinds. [/font]
June 20, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Odd, overlong character drama which during the later stages echoes Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo. I lost interest in Oscar's decline as he's not really a person who earns much empathy. Cate Blanchett leaves a mark as Lucinda though.
October 2, 2011
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

    1. Oscar Hopkins: For years I have gambled and took what I needed and gave the rest to the poor. I gambled for a purpose. There was no sin in what I did. But when I had all my needs paid for, I still could not stop... even when I promised God.
    2. Lucinda Leplastrier: We shall make a pact.
    3. Oscar Hopkins: We shall?
    4. Lucinda Leplastrier: To never gamble again. I promise I shall never invite you to a game of cards or any other form of gambling. And we shall keep it and be friends.
    – Submitted by Mich M (23 months ago)
    1. Narrator: Oscar had tasted the pudding. It did not taste like the fruit of Satan.
    – Submitted by Mich M (23 months ago)
    1. Oscar Hopkins: I dare not hope, and yet I must that through this deed I gain your trust.
    – Submitted by Mich M (23 months ago)
View all quotes (3)

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