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||IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from 197 votes
||Release: 9 May 1996 (Australia) /
||Genre: Drama, Foreign
||Director: Jerzy Domaradzki,
||Stars: Barry Otto, Deborah Foster, Fiona Press, Iris Shand, Janet Foye, Jeff Truman, John Flaus, Kate Agnew, Kris Bidenko, Lyle O'Hara, Michael Greir, Pat Hutchinson, Rachel Szalay, Ruth Cracknell, Toni Collette
||Synopsis: For forty years Lilian Singer has been locked up in a 'loony bin' by her father. Her release is eventually secured by her eccentric Aunt Kitty and her brother, John. Lilian starts to carve out a place for herself. As she explores Sydney and the people who live and work around her she sees others looking for love. Lilian shows us it is never too late to change your life and that even unusual choices can bring contentment. Written by Anonymous
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Watch Lilian's Story - Alternative Versions.
This is a fictional account of the life of a famous Sydney street
Bea Miles, in the middle of the last century who recited Shakespeare for
edification of passers by.
This film may have disappointed those who enjoyed Kate Grenville's novel
feel the casting inappropriate, and for that reason I have reservations
about watching The Beach or Captain Corelli's Mandolin where the main lead
seems so unlikely. However, a film can still be enjoyed and have value for
being an interpretation of an original idea, especially when such fine
actors are involved.
Ruth Cracknell is outstanding as the older Lilian and the rest of the cast
is superb, with Toni Collette (Muriel's Wedding) increasing her dramatic
range. Lilian's mother is perfectly portrayed by Anne Louise Lambert
(Picnic at Hanging Rock) as a subdued beauty, reduced to timing ferries,
with all the spirit of a bird of paradise crushed out of her by a monstrous
husband. The mother is, unsurprisingly, unable to help her daughter, and
offers the grossly inadequate reply of `its simple really, there are
changes' in response to her daughter's concern about entering womanhood.
Lilian and her brother are eventually deserted by their mother who entrusts
their well being and sanity to the tender hands of the brute of a father.
Barry Otto (Strictly Ballroom) portrays an educated father and husband of
the cruelest kind who seems hell bent on repressing all spirit in those
around him, offering the encouraging words to his daughter of `you're
unstable Lilian' in response to her dreams of going to university and
becoming a doctor or scientist. With this kind of care children either
learn to respond in kind, or destroy themselves, perpetuating the misery
every one who comes into contact with them.
Inevitably some unfavourable comparisons have been made with Shine as
Lilian's Story was developed at the same time, however it tackles the
difficult issues of physical and mental abuse from the feminine perspective
and has important messages to impart. This film is certainly more
than the 1970 English classic Spring and Port Wine' which also deals with
domineering father and husband.
The story is told in flashbacks after Lilian is released from a mental
institution after 40 years of incarceration by her father for being too
wild. The power of human endeavour in overcoming adversity is demonstrated
as Lilian finds a new life entertaining and helping people on the streets
Sydney, through the love for `her William'.
The strengths of this film lie in its talented cast, its refreshing
Australianism and decidedly un-Hollywood influenced approach. There are
characterisations and some nice symbolic touches such as the fridge weeping
onto the kitchen floor as Lilian recalls her mother and the cruelty of her
VHS copies can be obtained from ScreenSound Australia as I found difficulty
in tracking this film down in the UK although it was distributed by Video
Tags for Lilian's Story Full Movie
, Deborah Foster
, Fiona Press
, Iris Shand
, Janet Foye
, Jeff Truman
, John Flaus
, Kate Agnew
, Kris Bidenko
, Lyle O'Hara
, Michael Greir
, Pat Hutchinson
, Rachel Szalay
, Ruth Cracknell
, Toni Collette
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