Academy Award nominated director Bruce Beresford has assembled an incredible Australian and international cast for Ladies in Black, the long-awaited big screen adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 best-selling novel, The Women in Black.
Beresford (Breaker Morant, Driving Miss Daisy, Mao’s Last Dancer) said that he is “thrilled to have assembled such a talented cast, who will bring to life wonderfully the varied characters from Madeleine St John’s novel.”
The film will star Julia Ormond (Mad Men) as Magda Szombatheli, the charming and sophisticated Slovenian émigré, Angourie Rice (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Beguiled, Every Day) in the role of Sydney schoolgirl Lisa Miles, and Rachael Taylor (Jessica Jones, Red Dog, Transformers) in the role of Fay Baines.
Also joining the cast are Alison McGirr (Thirty) as Patty Williams, Vincent Perez (Queen Margot, Cyrano de Bergerac) as Magda’s Hungarian husband Stefan, Ryan Corr (Holding the Man) as Rudi; Susie Porter (Seven Types of Ambiguity) and Shane Jacobson (The Dressmaker) as Lisa’s parents, Mrs and Mr Miles; with Noni Hazlehurst (A Place to Call Home) as Miss Cartwright.
In the feel-good film, Ladies in Black, high-fashion and glamour are the catalyst for a positive, indelible change in a young Sydney woman’s life. 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 grand city department store, Goode’s, while awaiting the results of her final exams.
There she meets the “ladies in black” – the glamorous Goode’s employees. Beguiled and influenced by Magda, the vivacious manager of the high-fashion floor, and befriended by fellow sales ladies Patty & Fay, Lisa grows from a bookish girl to a glamorous and positive young woman, and she herself becomes a catalyst for a cultural change in everyone’s lives.
Adapted from the novel by Beresford and Sue Milliken, the film will be produced by Allanah Zitserman and Milliken – having received major production investment from Screen Australia in association with Create NSW. Ladies in Black is due to begin filming this month in Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
Image: (top) – Julia Ormond, Angourie Rice, Rachael Taylor, and Alison McGirr; (bottom) – Vincent Perez, Ryan Corr, Susie Porter and Noni Hazlehurst (supplied)