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3.9 out of 5 stars18
3.9 out of 5 stars
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2008
This is an utterly magnificent film about an almost unknown piece of history, and a remarkable, equally unknown woman. It is well written, well-acted, and engrossing from start to finish. But I think its greatest strength is its characterization. Each person is drawn with remarkable honesty; their flaws are acknowledged along with their strengths. We always see them as human and believable. Even the ones we come to detest are comprehensible, and those we admire simply grow in stature as the story goes on.

The movie is also painfully honest about the cruelties of 18th Century life, and the desperate vulnerability of anyone who lacked power, especially women and the poor.

One of those rare and wonderful films that celebrates heroism without resorting to exaggerations or cliches. Truly, they don't come any better!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 7, 2010
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I wasn't sure that would be the case. It is a compelling tale of the incredible courage of a woman very few of us have heard of. It depicts liife in the 1700's and the dreadful plight of the poor and certainly of women. Mary is found to be a criminal and sentenced to life in Botany Bay Australia. The depiction of the unimaginable voyage that takes about nine months to complete is almost uncomphrensible to us today who can fly to Australia in a few hours. The acting is wonderful and to me none of the actors were known although one of them now is in a very popular American t.v. series. The success of some of the captives escape from Botany Bay is nothing short of miraculous due to the incredible courage and determination of all of the escapees but no doubt more on the part of Mary Bryant. I think my only criticism would be that when you look into the facts the movie has played a bit fast and loose with the true story. Some of the story line has been "movied" up to make the story more interesting which I suppose is normal with stories "BASED on fact". Nevertheless this woman really lived and really did make such a voyage and really did escape and in my estimation was a true heroin and more should be told of her story today. It truly was and INCREDIBLE journey and I would highly recommend it.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 25, 2010
My first reaction while watching this film was 'why don't I know this story'? Mary Bryant's journey is indeed incredible and, in this two part mini-series, well told. This is the kind of role that actresses live for - full of life, passion and power. Amazing to watch Romola take to the role and be utterly believeable. While the writer's took liberties, particularly with the end of the film, much of what is important in the story as presented is true. I found, when researching Bryant afterwards, that the end of the story in real life is more powerful than the one presented on film. Even so, a story that sends me to learn more is one that has excited my imagination. Great film, terrific performances, worth every cent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2011
We bought this movie. It is historically accurate suspenseful film is based on real people and events. Yes, I agree, it doesn't get any better than this.

Mary Bryant was something else! What courage! What leadership! Although she was uneducated and illiterate, reaction to her experiences was even more surprising. I later Googled her name to see how accurate the movie is. I was not disappointed. This girl was incredibly resourceful in the face of countless dangers unheard of. Maybe because her experiences hadn't happened before. The unexpected trials Mary endured couldn't be imagined by most people, especially we, who live in North America.

I really cannot add very much to what the positive 3,4,5 star reviews have already said. Thank you to those positive reviewers. I bought the DVD based on your reviews. We were not disappointed.

Romola Garai and Sam Neil are two of my favourite actors. She was excellent and her portrayal gave justice to Mary Bryant.

Wikipedia will give some interesting information on what eventually happened to Mary.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The story line was interesting, but the delivery put this movie in the pornographic arena. Very disappointing. A more accurate description and classification would have been helpful.
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on August 18, 2014
Seen from a XXth century, the story by itself is incredible. But such was the justice system at the time (early XIXth century). Theft, burglary and pickpocketing were lethal accusations (even for stealing a piece of bread) and if you were lucky, the death penalty could be replaced with a one-way trip to a penal colony oversea.

The movie is well enacted. The main actress is almost too good-looking, though. Her dress is too clean, her hairdoe too cute to be credible. Well, it's a movie and not a piece of museum. Anyway, that's is the only reason a remove a star from the perfect 5.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2011
Judging by all the reviews, it's pretty unanimous that this is a great movie! I personally wanted to watch it because of the talented Romola Garai (Emma) and Alex O'Loughlin (The Back-up Plan and Hawaii Five-O). Jack Davenport also gives an outstanding performance as the Lieutenant who is hopelessly in love with Mary. It's an incredible journey of a determined young woman (Mary Bryant) who is arrested for stealing and subsequently sent to a penal colony in New South Wales. The journey is, as you can imagine, grueling and insufferable and the colony isn't much better. Despite the harsh conditions Mary finds a way to survive and her strong spirit and courage is incredibly amazing despite all that happens to her. I don't know how much recognition this movie got but it probably deserves more! If you haven't seen it...I highly recommend you do!
(Not suitable for all audiences)
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on September 26, 2015
Great TV mini-series. I'm actually in it as an extra (seriously)......making it all the better to watch! All that aside, it is a great dramatization of a heroic escape and massive journey by a bunch of convicts, set in Australia's very early days. A huge story of leadership and courage also, showcasing the strong character of convict Mary Bryant.
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on March 6, 2014
This is the sad story of the reality of the past, and how men and women survived the odds. A true account of the life of Mary Bryant, and well acted, great scenes. Well worth the watch. Not for young children, as there are some graphic images. If you like history to come alive this is the one.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2009
This is an exciting film based on true events and well worth watching. Without giving away too much, the question that haunted me when all was said and done was this, "Was Mary Bryant a hero or did she make an error in judgement that had severe consequences?" I'd be interested to know what other people think.
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