Oscar and Lucinda


Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. The film version is gorgeous to look at and contains amusing performances from Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett in the title roles. But it fails to get inside the minds of gamblers as Peter Carey so admirably did in his Booker Prize-winning novel.
  2. While Blanchett glows with intelligence, passion and a quirky kind of beauty, the movie she is in fails her in a number of essential ways.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Meek
    There's a lot of talent in this offbeat drama about two odd balls from Down Under, but somehow all the pieces don't quite fit together.
  4. One reason why it disappoints is that it comes across as more the work of screenwriter Laura Jones ("An Angel at My Table," "The Portrait of a Lady," "A Thousand Acres"), who's lately been specializing in high-minded literary adaptations, than of Armstrong, who tends to do better and more nuanced work with more intimate and domestic material (e.g., "The Last Days of Chez Nous," "Little Women").
  5. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    It has a lovely score by Thomas Newman, stunning production design, striking costumes and gorgeous cinematography. Unfortunately, it just doesn't jell.
  6. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    Armstrong is usually a strong and original director of actors (her 1979 "My Brilliant Career" launched the inimitable Judy Davis). But here, her taste seems to have deserted her. [31Dec1997 Pg.30]
  7. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    But for an epic set up to trace two life stories, there's a lack of dramatic focus, and the leads fail to evince any particular chemistry as friends who come to have a deeper emotional connection. [31Dec1997 Pg.02.D]
  8. Washington Post
    Reviewed by: Rita Kempley
    Oscar and Lucinda seems like the perfect story for director Gillian Armstrong, that of a free-spirited proto-feminist chafing at the strictures of tight-laced colonial Australia. But in the end, she's created a beautiful but annoying Victorian-era melodrama. [30Jan1998 Pg.D.06]
  9. No matter how hard the filmmakers work their narrator (Geoffrey Rush, as Oscar's great-grandson), he can't make the damn thing explicable, much less bring it to life.
  10. 40
    As to be expected, it's all very beautiful; too bad it's also often annoying, save for a heartbreaking final half-hour.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Vocecita
    Jun 8, 2007
    I like this movie. Excellent performances by Ralph Fiennes and Cate Blanchet.