David Stratton presents Essential Australian Women Directors
1987 | 104 mins | M | Australia | D: Gillian Armstrong
Arc Cinema | English Language
Tickets $15/$13 - season pass available
Gillian Armstrong and Judy Davis collaborated again on this emotionally rich multi-generational drama. Claudia Karvan plays Davis’ daughter and Jan Adele is the grandmother.
Eight years after the trailblazing My Brilliant Career, Gillian Armstrong and Judy Davis collaborated once again on High Tide. The setting is Eden on the NSW South Coast where Lilli (Davis), a back-up singer for Elvis imitator Frankie J Holden, becomes stranded with a broken-down car and little cash. Coincidentally, Ally (Claudia Karvan), the daughter she abandoned years earlier, is living with her grandmother, Bet (Jan Adele) in the local caravan park. Mother and daughter meet, while the grandmother agonises that the child will be exposed to emotional distress. The screenplay by Laura Jones avoids any hint of cheap sentimentality – instead this is a raw and deeply felt movie in which the fractured relationships are painfully real. Colin Friels makes a strong impression in a key supporting role, but it’s the links between the three women that make the film unforgettable. The bleak, wintry seaside setting is exquisitely photographed by Russell Boyd. Judy Davis won the 1987 AFI Best Actress Award for this role.