The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of the nation’s most popular films, Muriel’s Wedding with the publication of an online exhibition, featuring exclusive footage and never-seen-before photos and documents.
Released in 1994, Muriel’s Wedding is the story of an outcast (Toni Collette) who spends her days listening to ABBA and fantasising about being popular and becoming a bride. Muriel eventually realises that dreams aren’t what they seem.
Muriel’s Wedding: Renewing Our Vows features a detailed 360 degree view of the wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses from the film, as well as photos of their respective accessories; behind-the-scenes footage taken on the set by cinematographer Martin McGrath; and an oral history interview with Jeanie Drynan, who played Muriel’s mother Betty.
It also features pages from the very first screenplay treatment titled Helena’s Wedding: A Black Comedy in White (1989), and 1991-1992 drafts; press book for the 1994 Cannes Film Festival screening and other promotional materials; and the original Australian trailer and footage from the German dub of the film.
The online exhibition will also present a deleted scene in which Muriel’s (Toni Collette) new-found fame and lack of culinary skills generates a strong reaction from her husband (Daniel Lapaine).
Written and directed by PJ Hogan, Muriel’s Wedding had a strong impact on Australian popular culture – who hasn’t heard the film’s catchphrase ‘You’re terrible, Muriel’ in everyday situations?
The film became an international box office hit, making $15.76m in Australia (unadjusted for inflation) and U$57.5m worldwide. It was the third most profitable film in the world in 1995, after The Brothers McMullen and Pulp Fiction – earning approximately 19.2 times its budget. Muriel’s Wedding won four AFI Awards, and was also nominated at the Golden Globes and BAFTAS.
Muriel’s Wedding: Renewing Our Vows is the second online exhibition produced by the NFSA, following the launch of Priscilla: 20 Years Young in July 2014. Further exhibitions celebrating key Australian titles and performers are planned for 2015. For more information, visit: www.nfsa.gov.au/muriel for details.
Image: Toni Collette as Muriel – courtesy of Miramax Films