- Rated: R
- Run Time: 2 hours, 38 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: September 20, 2005
- Originally Released: 1991
- Label: Criterion
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Special Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.77
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Making Of
- Audio Interview:
Audio Commentary: Jane Campion - Director/Stuart Dryburgh
Trailers: Theatrical Trailer
- Janet Frame (1983)
- Essay By Film Critic Amy Taubin
- Excerpts From Janet Frame's Autobiography Which Formed The Basis Of The Film
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Rolling Stone - 05/30/1991
New York Times - 05/20/1991
"...A fine, rigorous adaptation....A very gentle film..."
Entertainment Weekly - 05/20/1994
"...[Campion's] trickiest and most delicate film..." -- Rating: B+
Film Comment - 11/01/1990
Los Angeles Times - 05/07/1992
"...Low-key and naturalistic....The film is like reading a diary....A great compliment to Campion is that the movie never seems less than genuine..."
This sprawling, detailed film by Jane Campion (THE PIANO) tells the true story of Janet Frame, a painfully sensitive girl who managed to escape a dreary rural upbringing and eight years in a mental hospital to become New Zealand's premier poet. The film unfolds as a trilogy, with each section based on a different Frame autobiography. "To the Is-Land" chronicles her childhood and awkward teenage years. "An Angel at My Table" focuses on her time as a teacher and her horrifying mental institution experience. "The Envoy from Mirror City" finds Frame an emerging, critically lauded writer traveling on a grant in Europe and finding love for the first time.
Kerry Fox, as the adult Frame, is astonishing. She transmits painfully self-aware shyness until it rubs off on the viewer. Campion expertly captures the details of Frame's time and place, creating a brutal, impersonal world by turns unremittingly dreary and starkly beautiful. Stunning, exhausting, brilliant, this acclaimed film debuted on New Zealand TV as a miniseries and was later edited for feature-length release internationally.
Jane Campion's second feature focuses on the stormy life of one of New Zealand's most celebrated authors, Janet Frame.
Mental Illness |
Personal Triumph |
Theatrical Release |
- Shown at the New York Film Festival and the Sydney Film Festival in 1990.