DVD The Getting of Wisdom (DVD 15959496),
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The Getting of Wisdom

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • In THE GETTING OF WISDOM, director Bruce Beresford focuses once again of the theme on an outsider trying to come to terms with an alien culture. The film, based on the novel by Henry Handel Richardson, stars Susannah Fowle as Laura Rambotham, a gifted 13-year-old girl admitted to a prestigious boarding school for girls in the 1880s. Hailing from the outback, the girl is ridiculed for her dress and behavior by the wealthy and snobbish students in the oppressively class-conscious school, with the odious Lilith (Kim Deacon) threatening to reveal the shameful fact that Laura's mother is a mere postmistress. The starchy headmistress, Mrs. Gurley (Sheila Helpmann), is concerned only about the well-being of a few of the wealthiest girls, and the women teachers dream of escaping from their claustral abode. Time passes and, although eager for acceptance, Laura becomes accustomed to the status anxiety that's endemic to the school and begins to demonstrate to her indifferent teachers the extraordinary nature of her talents. When Lilith is unable to accompany her song recital on the piano, Laura steps in and astounds everyone with her virtuosity. After she's befriended by the wealthiest and kindest girl in the school, Laura realizes that the worst is behind her. Well edited and directed, this is a tersely unsentimental account of an ambitious woman faced with Dickensian obstacles.
  • Credits
    Susannah Fowle, John Waters, Barry Humphries, Terence Donovan
  • Critic Reviews
    "...Better than most....[Fowle] is a most interesting actress..."
    New York Times

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