|The Umbrella Woman|
|Directed by||Ken Cameron|
|Produced by||Jan Sharp|
|Written by||Peter Kenna|
|Distributed by||Atlantic Releasing (United States, as The Good Wife)|
|14 May, 1987 (Australia)|
|Box office||A$100,189 (Australia)|
The film tells the story of a man and wife whose marriage is complicated by a relationship between the man's brother and his wife, and his wife's attraction to the manager of the local bar. The setting is pre-war Australia.
I was very happy to do it but it was a picture that I think would always be hard to do. It's terribly hard to do Madame Bovary in Australia and it's very hard to graft, say, that European style of melodrama or melodramatically intense view of family and sexual relations on to the Australian landscape. There's something there that refuses to play the game about the Australian country town.
I think the reason that it didn't work was that there was something very difficult to understand about the relationship between Bryan and Rachel. They were at the height of their public relationship, very well known as a happy couple. It was terribly hard to cast them as a couple who had some unstated problem in their marriage because everything in fact denied that. So it was hard to understand why she would run after the barman when Bryan was there, because Bryan is quite iconic and quite wonderful as an Australian country man... Without wishing Sam Neill away, because I think he's terrific - it might have worked better had Bryan been the barman... I think that this was an example of how you can cast a film with great excitement, get all these wonderful actors but, at the same time, in the very act of casting, you're blighting it or preventing the drama from emerging successfully.
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