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Australia (1989)

Australia is about Edouard Pierson, a Belgian-born wool dealer who emigrated to Australia after World War Two. The movie actual takes place in Belgium as he returns to his homeland to ... See full summary »


Jean Gruault (scenario and dialogue), Jacques Audiard (scenario and dialogue) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fanny Ardant ... Jeanne Gauthier
Jeremy Irons ... Edouard Pierson
Tchéky Karyo ... Julien Pierson
Agnès Soral ... Agnès Deckers
Hélène Surgère ... Odette Pierson
Maxime Laloux Maxime Laloux ... François Gauthier
Patrick Bauchau ... André Gauthier
Danielle Lyttleton Danielle Lyttleton ... Saturday Pierson
Dorothy Alison ... Doreen Swanson
Bob Bradley Bob Bradley ... Peter Swanson
Peter Douglas Peter Douglas ... Hasburn
Michel Andres Michel Andres ... Membre club aviation
Denys Hawthorne Denys Hawthorne ... Mr. Frazer
Simone Barry Simone Barry ... Madame Dumoulin
Noël Baye Noël Baye ... Tony


Australia is about Edouard Pierson, a Belgian-born wool dealer who emigrated to Australia after World War Two. The movie actual takes place in Belgium as he returns to his homeland to assist his family with their wool business. Edouard was left a single father after his girlfriend died and when he goes to Belgium he leaves behind this young girl, whom his family don't know about. He meets a beautiful woman, Jeanne, another single parent, and an intense relationship develops. Edouard's relationship with his family has its ups and downs and many secrets are revealed before the movie's conclusion ties everything together. Written by Lloyd Harris <floyd@idirect.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two souls forgotten by love, united by passion...






France | Switzerland | Belgium


French | English

Release Date:

13 September 1989 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Sehnsucht nach Australien See more »

Filming Locations:

South Australia, Australia See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Last Film of Dorothy Alison. See more »

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User Reviews

This is a mysterious celluloid epic.
13 February 2001 | by bluebootSee all my reviews

If I am completely honest with you having seen this on three occasions I am still unsure what this beautifully photographed film is about. The backdrops are colourful and remain as mesmerising and captivating as Jeremy Irons is with Fanny Ardant. The plot centres in part around an English dynasty which has some of its fortune based in the Australian wool industry during the 1920/30's. The textile business has less to do with the plot than the intriguing interaction between the two leading actors. Flashbacks occur, intermingled with their present day roles as parents, business people and travellers... and all the while leaving the viewer to decide where this story is going. In other words, you have to work quite hard to glean an appreciation of the deep intrigue involved.

The first time I saw this film, although having enjoyed, and felt deeply moved I had little or no idea even what this was about and felt totally baffled. That's a challenge! In order to crack it... you are compelled to watch this more than once. How often does a film withstand multiple viewing and remain as much a pleasure to watch each time as it was the first? In my experience, rarely. I recommend this to anyone, regardless of gender, age or background. There are many levels to 'Australia' not least the beautiful cinematography, and this is unbelievably distracting.

The acting is effortless, perfectly directed and the script is admittedly sparse but extremely well-timed and thought out. If you watch this with someone you are bound to end up discussing what exactly you've just seen. So buy it! I guarantee you'll watch this more than once, and you'll probably feel you'd like to have lived as they did... A genuinely timeless film.

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