Synopsis by Tom Wiener
Australian director Paul Cox, skilled at intense psychological stories about lone souls looking for comfort in a cold world, was at his best with this original script co-written by the director and Barry Dickins. Martha is a 78-year-old woman living out her final days. Not a maudlin tale of a lonely woman wasting away, A Woman's Tale focuses on a human who manages to maintain an amazing vitality in the face of death. She encourages her young nurse, Anna (Gosia Doborowolska), to use her flat for romantic trysts; she looks in on Billy (Norman Kayes), an elderly neighbor, and she resists attempts by her son Johanathan (Chris Haywood) to place her in a nursing home. Sheila Florance's performance as Martha is a marvel, especially given the art-imitates-life aspect of production: Florance was terminally ill, and she died soon after she was nominated for the Best Actress Award for Australia's Academy Awards.
breast-cancer, cat, death, elderly, friendship, generation-gap, neighbor, prostitute/prostitution
High Artistic Quality