It was pure serendipity that led me to stumble upon the film, My Brilliant Career. Frankly, I am surprised that the reams of fashion bloggers out there haven't jumped on this film like they did with say, Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975). I have polled the audience and even among my Aussie friends I have not found anyone who has seen it. Rather than being excited about discovering such a gem, I am disheartened that more do not know it, as this is a film to be relished and loved.
The story plays out quite simply: a young Australian girl has little else to live for in her life than her dreams. After falling in love with a wealthy man, however, she is forced to choose between love and the dream of a "brilliant career." The plot line is simple, yet I was captivated by every moment of it. The main star, Judy Davis, lights up the screen and her chemistry with costar Sam Neill is palpable. The character, Sybylla Melvyn, reminds me of another auburn-haired beauty, Anne Shirley (of the Anne of Green Gables series). She is fiery and independent, and I must say, an inspiration to me. The film seemed to be Anne of Green Gables-cum-Picnic at Hanging Rock-cum-Days of Heaven. If you have seen the latter two films, then you know how slow-moving, yet achingly beautiful they are, possessing sublime cinematography. This movie follows suit.
My Brilliant Career is currently available as a Watch Instantly option on Netflix (or you can rent the DVD). You can also download a free copy of the novel for Kindle, PC, or other device at Project Gutenberg.
Below are some screenshots of the film. Drop me a line if you end up watching this (or if you've already seen it) and let me know what you think!