Release date8 October 1992 (1992-10-08) CastKerry Fox (Vicki), Miranda Otto (Annie), Bill Hunter (Beth's Father), Bruno Ganz (J.P.), Lisa Harrow (Beth), Kiri Paramore (Tim) Similar moviesMiranda Otto appears in The Last Days of Chez Nous and The Nostradamus Kid
The Last Days of Chez Nous is a 1992 Australian drama film, directed by Gillian Armstrong and written by Helen Garner. Made in a style that emphasizes naturalism over melodrama, the film centres on what happens after Vicki arrives at the house of her older sister Beth, whose French husband falls for her. The film stars Bruno Ganz as the Frenchman JP, New Zealand actor Kerry Fox as the impulsive younger sister, and Lisa Harrow as her older sibling. The cast also includes Miranda Otto and Bill Hunter.
Helen Garner had written her first script for Jan Chapman, 2 Friends. The two of them worked on the idea of Chez Nous for a number of years before developing it into a screenplay. Chapman then approached Gillian Armstrong who said:
I really loved it because I love Helen's writing. I think she has incredibly acute observation of people and wonderful poetry in her writing. I did think the biggest challenge was that so much was in one house, but I took that on board and thought, well, we'll just have to do everything possible to make people still feel they're watching a movie. After all, the house is also a character in the story.
The film was entirely funded by the Film Fund of the Film Finance Corporation. Armstrong made the movie straight after Fires Within and enjoyed it much more because the Hollywood film had been such a bad experience.
Awards and reception
Lisa Harrow won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and the film was nominated for the AFI's Best Picture award. The film was entered into the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival.
The film held a 90% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of August 2011, based on 10 reviews.
The Last Days of Chez Nous grossed $1,018,866 at the box office in Australia.