My Brilliant Career

1979, Drama, 1h 41m

20 Reviews 250+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Growing up in the Australian outback, creative and headstrong Sybylla Melvyn (Judy Davis) dreams of becoming a famous writer despite long odds and the objections of her family. Forced by money problems to move in with her rich grandmother (Aileen Britton), she soon makes the acquaintance of a handsome landowner, Harry (Sam Neill), and wins him over despite their class differences. When Harry proposes, Sybylla must choose between romantic love an the brilliant career she craves.

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Critic Reviews for My Brilliant Career

Audience Reviews for My Brilliant Career

  • Jul 19, 2012
    A woman with literary aspirations falls for an upper class man who tempts her toward marriage, away from her work. The film sets up a familiar dichotomy: Sybylla finds that she must either pursue her career ambitions or settle down to the expectations of Victorian society and marry. Obviously, this is a familiar construct, one replayed to perfection in Henry James's <i>Portrait of a Lady</i>, but what I found lacking in <i>My Brilliant Career</i> was an exploration of who Sybylla is as an artist. After all, whether or not her book is good and should be written is significant. Instead, what becomes clear is how she doesn't fit in with Victorian, upper-class society and seems even more out of place with lower class society. Her only connection is with Harry Beecham, whom she rejects to pursue her work. Overall, because one side of the conflict is never fully explored, I found most of <i>My Brilliant Career</i> lacking.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2009
    Slow moving enlightenment drama with Judy Davis giving an excellent performance as usual. The characters are just to remote to really engage you leaving you feeling little for their stuggles.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2009
    Sybylla Melvyn is a girl with a spark. She's also a girl who refuses to let 19th century sensibilities extinguish it. Set in Australia in the late 1800's, <i>My Brilliant Career</i> chronicles the story of a woman years ahead of her time. Whoever cast Judy Davis as 'plain and ugly' ought to have their eyesight examined. Even without makeup she's absolutely radiant. Otherwise, she is perfectly suited for this engrossing, subtly romantic docudrama. Highly recommended.
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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