Release dateOctober 27, 1994 (1994-10-27) CastGreta Scacchi (Deborah Voysey), Kerry Fox (Sally Voysey), Sam Neill (Dr. Max Askey) Similar moviesAugust (1996)
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Country Life is a 1994 Australian drama film, adapted from the play Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov. The film was directed by Michael Blakemore. The cast included Sam Neill, Greta Scacchi and Googie Withers. It was entered into the 19th Moscow International Film Festival.
The film is set just after World War I, as Australia begins questioning the value of continuing as an outpost of the British Empire. Since his sister's death years ago, Jack Dickens has raised his niece Deborah, aided by his sharp-tongued maid Hannah. Deborah's father, Alexander Voysey, abandoned her after her mother's death and took off for the bright lights of the city, ostensibly making a name for himself as a literary critic and writer in London. Jack and Deborah have sacrificed their own hopes and dreams to run the farm while Voysey disports himself in the city. Despite the claims of success, Voysey is a self-centered, self-aggrandizing, pompous windbag with no visible means of support beyond leeching off his brother-in-law's labor on the farm.
Voysey has remarried a younger woman, Sally, who has come to regret her marriage. Voysey subjects Sally to cruel behavior from him, such as fetching things he's dropped at his whim and making advances to other women right in front of her. Sally is deeply unhappy, and feels that she has wasted her youth and squandered her life in marrying Voysey. Both Jack and the town doctor are soon smitten by Sally, while Deborah pines for the town doctor herself. The true natures, characters, and hopes and dreams within the family are revealed as things fall apart, paralleled by the political climate, with more Australians calling for separation from Britain.
Country Life grossed $360,957 at the box office in Australia.
Country Life was released on DVD by Umbrella Entertainment in May 2012. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes a behind the scenes special feature.