109 minutes


Synopsis: Set in the summer of 1959, when the impact of European migration and the rise of women’s liberation is about to change Australia forever, a shy schoolgirl (Lisa) takes a summer job at the prestigious Sydney department store, Goode’s. There she meets the "ladies in black", who will change her life forever. Beguiled and influenced by Magda, the vivacious manager of the high-fashion floor, and befriended by fellow sales ladies Patty and Fay, Lisa is awakened to a world of possibilities. As Lisa grows from a bookish schoolgirl to a glamorous and positive young woman, she herself becomes a catalyst for cultural change in everyone’s lives.

Australian premiere: September 20, 2018

Production photo:


Graeme Tuckett,
Bruce Beresford, working from a screenplay based closely on Madeleine St John's 1993 novel Women In Black, directs proceedings with absolute precision. There are several stories at play here, and the film is operating on a couple of levels, but Beresford makes it all seem straightforward, exquisitely balanced and superbly watchable."

Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile:
One of the best lines (about men) goes something like this: 'We don't understand them and they don't understand themselves... they can't manage on their own...' Then there's the lure of glamour and exotic influences of 'continental types', like Magda's Hungarian husband (Vincent Perez, charismatic)... Casting is faultless. Cinematographer Peter James captures the imagery with style, while Christopher Gordon's buoyant score keeps the mood alive."

Angus Tonkin, Film Blerg:
Angourie Rice already has a formidable list of credits,  and here she proves her credentials as a lead. Bright and appealing, she also receives some beautiful guidance from Ormond, who steals most of the best lines along with her screen husband played by Vincent Perez."

Insights magazine:
What two-time Academy Award nominated film director Bruce Beresford has managed to do with this beautiful tale from his former classmate is unprecedented in Australian cinema. The Australian director has delivered a film from his homeland that is positive and uplifting while taking on timeless issues of immigration and social equality in an endearing manner that does not disparage the past, but shows the value of each generation."






 Rachael Taylor........Fay
Julia Ormond.........Magda
Angourie Rice..........Lisa
Vincent Perez.........Stefan
Ryan Corr.........Rudi
Nicholas Hammond........Mr. Ryder
Susie Porter..........Mrs. Miles
Noni Hazlehurst........Miss Cartwright
Shane Jacobson........Mr. Miles


Directed by Bruce Beresford
Written by  Bruce Beresford & Sue Milliken Based on the novel by Madeleine St. John
Cinematography by Peter James
Music by Christopher Gordon