My Brilliant Career is an Australian film featuring the acting debut of Judy Davis and the directing debut of Gillian Armstrong. The story is based on a 1901 autobiographical novel by 16-year-old Miles Franklin which chronicles the efforts of an independent-minded farm girl to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. In this process, she must fend off a priggish suitor and deal with her attraction to a wealthy landowner (Sam Neill) who slowly but surely expresses his love for her.
Judy Davis is marvelously alive as the oddball heroine who vexes her mother, perplexes a rich grandmother, and sets off sparks at staid dinner parties and a formal affair. My Brilliant Career makes the best of a variety of stunning Australian landscapes but demonstrates its real beauty and clout as an inward journey into the soulscape of an artist determined to dance alone to the music of her own special muse.