Gillian Armstrong’s Feminist Film ‘My Brilliant Career’ Illuminates Why Women Feel Compelled to Fulfill Societal Soles

TCM will feature films from 12 decades— representing 44 countries—totaling 100 classic and current titles, all created by women. Read more about this here! 

In 1979, director Gillian Armstrong created one of Australia’s finest pieces of feminist film—My Brilliant Career. Based on the novel by Miles Franklin, it centers on a woman who is full of spirit and determination to take full control of her own life. Judy Davis stars as the protagonist who is ready to defy all societal expectations with her thoughts and actions, without a care for what others think. (KIZJ: 4/5) 

Review by FF2 Contributing Editor Katusha Jin

It’s 1897, and hidden somewhere in Australia’s countryside is an outspoken free spirit—otherwise known as “Sybylla Melvyn” (Judy Davis). She spends her time dreaming of a life away from the confines of the expected path for a young woman. In her mind, a career as a famous actress or a successful writer would better suit her talents. Unfortunately, her aspirations are met with mockery and annoyance. To her family, they are mere daydreams that stand in the way of Sybylla moving on to the next stage of life—marriage. 

The family is in a difficult situation where they can barely afford to pay for everyone’s expenses, and if Sybylla were to marry, it would be a load off their shoulders. Sybylla’s “Mother” (Julia Blake) describes her daughter as “useless, plain and godless,” which is followed by a discussion between Sybylla and her sister, “Gertie” (Marion Shad), about whether they should want more out of life. Although Gertie describes her sister as clever, Sybylla concludes that rather than cleverness, it’s more akin to madness—it would have been better if she didn’t think at all!

The poor girl wants to follow her gut and flee off into the world to seek out an adventurous life but is instead shackled to a farm surrounded by the financial realities of her family’s present situation. One day, she receives a letter informing her that she must go live with her rich “Grandma Bossier” (Aileen Britton) to help with her parents’ money issues. In her new accommodation, she meets the dashing “Harry Beecham” (Sam Neill). Despite Harry being a well-to-do landowner, Sybylla’s charm erases their class difference, and he falls for her in no time. The expected response for a woman would have been to accept him with flailing arms. Unsurprisingly, the protagonist’s determination to live on her own terms, rather than fall into societal norms, prevents her from taking what looks like the “easy way out”—even if it is to be with the man whom she loves and loves her back. 

Director Gillian Armstrong’s film follows a plot we are now quite familiar with–a girl from the countryside wants to break free from her current circumstances and venture out to explore what life has to offer her. However, when considering it was made in 1979 and the fact that the focus is less so on the romance and more on the female protagonist’s yearning for a career, it’s easy to understand why My Brilliant Career is one of Australia’s most notable feminist films. Aside from feminism, the film also dips us into the themes of sexism, classism, and a dash of romance. 

The film is based on the novel of the same name, which was the first of many novels by Miles Franklin. It is largely based on autobiographical aspects of Franklin, who spent her childhood in the same rural area. In such an unconventional film, Judy Davis was the perfect portrait of a headstrong protagonist who was never meant to live and think from inside the confinements of society’s rules. Her performance was recognized with a BAFTA award, and the film went on to get multiple nominations, including an Academy Award nomination. 

As much as we like to think that we have come so far, it was eerily uncomfortable for me to realize the similarities between the judgment Sybylla received when choosing her career over romance and the judgment many career-driven women of today still receive.

© Katusha Jin (11/27/2020) FF2 Media

Featured Photo: Judy Davis

Middle Photo: Judy Davis

Bottom Photo: Still from My Brilliant Career (1979)

Photo Credits: The Criterion Channel 

Q: Does My Brilliant Career pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test?

Although this film is absolutely filled with talk about boys, the girls do have moments where they discuss fashion, style, and dreams.

Katusha Jin

By Katusha Jin

As part of the FF2 Media team, Katusha Jin interviews filmmakers, write features and reviews, and coaches other associates. She grew up in the UK and studied briefly in Russia and China before moving to New York for college. Graduating magna cum laude from New York University, Katusha majored in Film and Television at Tisch School of the Arts with minors in Business and Philosophy. She has worked as a producer, director, writer, and composer for various award-winning projects including short films, branded content, independent features, and music videos.


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  25. خدمات پرستاری در منزل عاطفه
    امکان دریافت بهترین و سریعترین درمان قطعی زخم بستر در منزل با متد روز دنیا تحقق یافته است.
    موسسه خدمات درمانی کیان آماده اعزام نیروهای متخصص به سراسر پایتخت و کرج در
    اسرع وقت به صورت شبانه روزی
    با هزینه مناسب جهت انجام این امر می
    باشد. اگر برای نگهداری از سالمند و کودک و بیمار نیاز به پرستار با تجربه دارید یا نیاز به تزریقات و پانسمان در منزل دارید، خدمات پرستاری در منزل را با تیم
    حرفه ای سپید گستر تجربه کنید. برای بیمارانب که پس از عمل
    نیازبهادامه درمان در منزلدارند مناسب است.
    مورد نیاز خانواده هایی است که سالمند آنها از نظر بالا رفتن سن و شرایط جسمانی
    و روحی نیاز به مراقبت دارند.

    اگر شما یک خانواده شاغل هستید و
    برای ساعات مشخص از روز نیاز به پرستار
    کودک در منزل دارید یا به صورت شبانه روزی برای فرزند خود نیاز به
    مراقب دارید می‌توانید از خدمات پرستاری در منزل استفاده کنید.
    خدمات پزشکی و پرستاری در منزل اسنپ
    دکتر با هدف دسترسی راحت‌تر افراد راه‌اندازی شده
    ‌است. شما می‌توانید از طریق اپلیکیشن
    و سایت اسنپ دکتر نسبت به رزرو هر کدام از خدمات پزشکی
    در منزل اقدام کنید. یکی از وظایفی که پرستار بیمار با توجه به
    تخصص خود به عهده دارد، انجام تزریقات و همچنین شستشوی زخم، تعویض بانداژ و پانسمان بیمار و یا انجام فیزیوتراپی در
    منزل است. بیمارانی که در دوران نقاهت پس از جراحی هستند و یا
    افرادی که دچار زخم بستر شده‌اند، همگی نیازمند این قبیل مراقبت‌ها و خدمات تخصصی و معتبر می‌باشند.

    با درخواست پرستار حرفه ای از موسسه شبانه
    روزی کیان می توانید از تجارب خدمات درمانی ، مهارت ارتباط گیری و جزئی نگری بی نظیر این پرستاران
    استفاده کنید. و قیمت پرستار تمام وقت و نیمه وقت به شرایط فردی که نیاز به مراقبت دارد بستگی دارد مثلاً سالمندی که توانایی راه رفتن دارد یا خیر و یا
    بیماری که نیاز به دارو دارد یا نیاز به خدمات پزشکی
    مختلف و حتی کودکی که شرایط نرمال دارد یا معلولیت دارد و… متفاوت می
    باشد. پرستاری که برای نگهداری از کودک یا سالمند یا بیمار به منزل اعزام می شود از عزیزان شما به صورت ساعتی یا دائمی مراقبت می
    کند و خدمات مراقبتی و پزشکی
    مربوطه را در منزل به عزیزانتان ارائه می دهد.
    همه می‌دانند که والدین دوست دارند در کنار فرزند خود باشند و شاهد
    رشد عزیزانشان باشند.
    NGT در منزل خدمتی است برای بیمارانی که نمی‌توانند از راه دهان تغذیه کنند.
    تعویض NGT در منزل نیز جزو خدمات پرستار در منزل است که
    با تخصص بالا و توسط پرستار در منزل انجام می‌شود.
    از این رو، انجام NGT در منزل، می‌تواند بسیار
    راحت‌تر و ایمن‌تر از اقدام حضوری و رفتن به درمانگاه یا بیمارستان باشد.
    از شرکت خدمات پرستاری معتبر می تواند به آن ها کمک کند تا دوران
    نقاهت بیماری شان به خوبی سپری شود، پرستار بیمار در مجموعه سپید گستر فردی حرفه ای
    است که با انواع بیماری ها، درمان ها آشنایی داشته و به
    بهبود سریع تر بیمار شما کمک خواهد
    لذا با نهایت کیفیت خدمات
    پرستار در منزل را ارائه می‌دهند.
    پرستاران هومکا روند بهبودی
    بیماران را سریع‌تر خواهند کرد.
    در برخی موارد، افراد موجود در یک خانواده
    ساعاتی از روز را به انجام کارهای خود اختصاص داده و با بازگشت به منزل نگهداری از بیمار یا سالمند خود را
    بر عهده می‌گیرند. این خانواده‌ها معمولا از پرستار ساعتی
    در منزل برای نگهداری از بیمار یا سالمند خود استفاده
    می‌کنند. یعنی ساعاتی که اعضای خانواده در منزل حضور ندارند، پرستار
    ساعتی در منزل وظیفه‌ی نگهداری از سالمند
    یا بیمار را دارد و خدمات پرستار ساعتی
    در منزل را ارائه خواهد داد.

    مجموعه‌ی خدمات مراقبتی و درمانی هومکا به عنوان یکی از باسابقه‌ترین مجموعه‌های ارائه کننده‌ی
    خدمات درمانی، برای هر دو بازه‌ی زمانی ساعتی و شبانه‌روزی پرستار مناسب بیمار شما برای انجام خدمات را در
    اختیار همشهریان عزیز قرار می‌دهد.

    ویزیت بیماران تحت مراقبت در منزل در اسرع وقت توسط پزشک عمومی و
    در صورت نیاز ویزیت توسط پزشکان متخصص.
    [newline]آسانیسم با چندین مرکز آمبولانس نمونه همکاری دارد و اگر شما برای اعزام بیمار
    خود به بیمارستان، منزل یا مراکز درمانی نیاز به آمبولانس خصوصی داشتید، در
    کوتاه ترین زمان ممکن اعزام آمبولانس انجام می شود و به صورت ویژه جابجایی بیمار
    صورت خواهد پذیرفت. هدف مجموعه آسانیسم ارائه کلیه خدمات مراقبت و پرستاری در منزل به گونه ای مطمئن و همراه با پشتیبانی است
    و در این مسیر ما تمام تلاش خود
    را کرده ایم تا شما بتوانید با اتکا به
    آن، راحتی و آسایش را برای انجام خدمات
    خود و خانواده خود اقدام به
    دریافت خدمات بکنید. یک پرستار
    در منزل با هزینه کمتر می‌تواند از پدر یا مادر سالمند
    شما در منزل خودتان مراقبت کرده و آرامش را برای او فراهم کند.

    پزشک یا پرستار می‌تواند غذا و دارو را از طریق ان جی تیوب به بیمار
    بدهد. آنها همچنین می‌توانند به کمک این لوله
    ساکشن نیز انجام دهند تا محتویات داخل معده را خارج کنند.
    پرستاران در منزل می توانند
    برای نگهداری از بیمار در غیاب شما در آنجا حضور داشته باشند.

    خیر ، خدمات پرستاری در منزل در تهران و کرج به صورت شبانه روزی
    ، ۲۴ ساعته ، تمام وقت ، و پاره وقت قابل ارائه است.
    یکی دیگر از خدمات شرکت جهان پخش آرام که با کمک شرکت خدمات پرستاری
    رز فراهم کرده است ، ویزیت پزشک در منزل می باشد که به موجب آن خدمات این شرکت به صورت شبانه روزی نیز قابل انجام است .
    خدمات ارائه شده توسط مراقبت در منزل توسط پرستاران مجرب
    و متعهد، فیزیوتراپیست ها و متخصصین کاردرمانیو …
    ارائه می شود و به همین دلیل، لازم
    نیست نگران کیفیت خدمات ارائه شده توسط پرستاران خانگی باشید.
    درمان و آموزش پزشکی آماده ارائه
    کلیهخدماات پرستاری در منزلبه
    صورت شبانه روزی است . یکی از ابتدایی‌ترین نیازهای
    یک بیمار که در منزل بستری شده است، انجام تزریقات در منزلمی‌باشد.

    جرم موجود در گوش با هدف جلوگیری
    از ورود گرد و غبار، آلودگی و نفوذ حشرات موزی تشکیل می‌شود.
    اما در برخی شرایط با افزایش مقدار آن،
    مشکلاتی برای فرد ایجاد می‌گردد که معمولا در سنین بالا رخ
    می‌دهد. افرادی که به هر دلیلی شرایط حضور در درمانگاه را ندارند، از
    خدمت شستشوی گوش در منزل استفاده می‌کنند.
    گاواژ به معنای وارد کردن مواد غذایی
    با استفاده از یک لوله‌ی باریک است.

    این لوله‌ی باریک همان سوندی است که مواد غذایی
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