My Brilliant Career
Continuing with our women filmmakers theme, our next Rialto Recommends is Gillian Armstrong's 1979 film MY BRILLIANT CAREER starring Judy Davis and Sam Neill. 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. The New York Times raved "MY BRILLIANT CAREER marks the beginning of exactly that for both the film's daring, assured, high-spirited Australian director, Gillian Armstrong, and its rambunctious young star." While the Boston Globe wrote "It's hard to imagine a film filled with more quiet integrity, intelligent passion, realistic drama and genuine entertainment than Gillian Armstrong's MY BRILLIANT CAREER." A true arthouse classic MY BRILLIANT CAREER is streaming on HBOMax, the Criterion Channel, Kanopy, and WatchTCM or available to rent from Apple. Gillian Armstrong would go on to direct other notable films including Mrs. Soffel, The Last Days of Chez Nous, Little Women (1994), Oscar and Lucinda and others.