Jessica (TV Movie 2004) Poster

(I) (2004 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
15 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Nothing ruins an adaptation more than expectations. Nevertheless I thought it was amazing
moose_on_the_loose_10130 March 2005
I may not be a film critic, but I know a good piece of film when I see it and I know that I loved Jessica. Contrary to what others may think, I thought this was an amazing movie. Having never read the book, I see this film differently as I have no previous expectations, and nothing ruins an adaptation more than expectations. Nevertheless I thought there was some brilliant acting by fellow Aussies Leeanna Walsman, Oliver Ackland,(not just a pretty face)and the unbelievably amazing Sam Neil. I found Ackland and Walsman captivating, as was their on screen chemistry, what's a good love story without chemistry, right? oh and a few evil family members. These actors brought their characters to life. I mark a good movie by its ability to move the audience. If it can make me cry, laugh, yell out in anger, hide in embarrassment, then obviously the actors are doing something right! I did find it hard to find faults in the film, apart from the absence of a traditional happy ending, but then they tend to sometimes be a tad clique and corny, don't they? Ending aside I found this a memorable piece of Aussie drama. I applaud everyone involved, you should be proud. Hopefully if it's released onto DVD, GW, It will certainly find a place in my collection.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A story of the life a girl who lives in the bush with her family. Set in the harsh Australian outback, this is a sad but very moving story
crazy_pinkchick24 January 2006
This is the mini series based on the novel Jessica by Bryce Courtenay. It was well written and the characters were well played; however I felt as though there was a lot of material missing that was in the novel that would have been significant to the story. I understand that it would have been difficult to have everything from the novel in the movie. I was satisfied with the movie though I enjoyed the book much more. I had just finished reading the book, and watching the story and the characters come to life was great. It made me cry just as much as the book. If you liked the mini series then I insist you read the book. It is a great read and a very moving story. It will help you understand the story better.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
short but sweet
bboop20 July 2004
I thought this movie was absolutely excellent. Leeanna Walsman was so convincing as the lead character 'Jessica' that i'm still feeling upset about her plight two days after seeing the story. This truly is one of those shows that you really want to find out what happens but feel a little disappointed that it has to end.

Great acting from the whole cast, beautiful cinematography and a story that'll keep you talking for days. Having not read the book i'm not sure how the movie has measured up to the novel but i have to say this is the best telemovie i have ever seen. If you have an interest in Australian history or simply love a good story you wont be disappointed with this one. As i said "absolutely excellent".
7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Wonderful TV event, Leeanna Walsman is a wonderful actor
vk2gjt22 July 2004
We watched the mini series "Jessica" and loved it. I haven't read the book before seeing the feature, so don't have any prior opinions about the story.

'Jessica' was a wonderful story, combining both happy moments with incredibly sad. Leeanna Walsman playing Jessica was a very very strong character, and we're still talking about her performance, with a tear in our eye, days after watching. Originally we watched to see performances from actors we know well and enjoy, such as Sam Neill, John Howard and Tony Martin....but found that Leeanna's performance overshadowed all of them.

Thoroughly enjoyed 'Jessica', and want to see it all again.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the Highlights of 2004
oliverl-120 July 2004
"Jessica" is a dramatic and heartfelt true story. The adaptation of Bryce Courtenay's novel is more wonderful than I could ever have expected, as it tells the story of a gut-wrenching story of a hapless life. The acting is brilliant all around.

Leanna Walsman is perfect as main character Jessica Bergman, with her good looks and her extreme talent she tells a remarkable story of a heartbreaking life.

Oliver Ackland is excellent as Jack Thomas, the love of both Jessica and her spoiled sister Meg's (Megan Dorman) life, with his handsome charm and love for Jessica, how can you not like him? Wil Traval is just as superb as Billy Simple, the brain-damaged friend of Jessica & Jack. Traval puts in a beautiful performance.

Sam Neill is wonderful as the drunken lawyer of both Billy & Jessica, Neill is the icing on the cake. Tony Martin is also great as Jessica's dad Joe, his love and support for Jessica is beautiful. With other great supporting actors such as Lisa Harrow, Megan Dorman and John Howard "Jessica" is a soulful and riveting mini-series. 10/10
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
kholland8419 July 2004
WOW!!! I absolutely loved this mini series!! everything about it was fantastic! I didn't want it to end. I laughed, I cried, I was kept in suspense, everything a good drama should be :) Would of loved a happy ending though :) The acting was awesome and it was great to see new Aussie talent teaming up with some of the veterans of TV and film. Leanna Walsman was fantastic as Jessica as well as Sam Neill's character! Lisa Harrow's portrayal of Hester was fantastic i loved to hate her!! It was just great acting all around! The story was great as well, Bryce Courtenay has captured a great tale in his book "Jessica" and it was just great to see it being brought to life in this movie. I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS!!!! 10/10
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An insiders view
AstrayLiana27 December 2003
Though I only had an extra part I can highly recommend this film as a superb drama. A true story set in colonial Australia in the early 1900's. A very good adaptation of Bryce Courtenay's book "Jessica" (well worth the read) to the screen. Leanna Walsman gives a powerful performance in the title role and Sam Neill as the rummy solicitor gives a fine portrayal, while you'll love to hate Lisa Harrow's character of Jessica's mother, Hester. The realism brought to this film by the excellent cast makes for some very unnerving scenes, especially in the insane asylum. Filmed on locations in and around New South Wales and Sydney.

6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
My opinion of the fantastic production "Jessica".
ka-ry-na3 July 2013
It's one of the best movies (mini-series) i have ever seen. It was touching, nice and one of few movies that made me cry. It was tension and excitement that kept me interested trough three hour's (i suppose). I could relate the story to real life situations and all the dramatic things that kept the movie going was sad. In the end, i had a deep compassion with Jessica (the main character) and I also once again as many times before realized how cruel people can be and how hard life can be.

As talking about people, the actors were brilliant. Escpecially Jessica- Leanna Walsmann and her mother played by Lisa Harrow. Lisa's acting was so brilliant that I really hated her at some points of the movie. All the actors just play very trustworthy.

The Australian landscape is as always beautiful and as I wished to move to Australia a couple year's, this movie changed my mind, thanks to all the snakes.

All in all a movie everyone have to see. 10 stars!!!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Excellent adaptation of period piece
jamesmoule12 December 2006
Reading other reviews of this mini-series confirms my belief that it is one that people either love or hate. The reason is more than likely the plot of the novel by Bryce Courtenay. Either the viewer will see this as an astonishing true story of deception or a whole pack of lies. If you can't believe the story, both the book and the film will be difficult to enjoy. Having read the book first, I found the mini-series a very faithful adaptation. The characters in the book were accurately portrayed in the film and the acting was first class all round. We are used to BBC dramas with painstaking attention to period detail but it is rare to see an Australian story from the early 1900s in which so much care is taken with historical accuracy. The central tablelands villages of Carcoar and Millthorpe provide perfect backdrops, having been maintained as 19th century towns. I wonder did anyone notice that the sign on one of the buildings in "Narrandera" (actually Carcoar) had the town name spelled as it was in 1890? That level of attention to detail is typical of the fine work of the creators of this exceptional mini-series.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It was Great
Jca228 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers

I thought it was great but i was i bit annoyed that Hestor never got what was coming 2 her by anyone or Meg. i wonder if at the ending when it was an older Joey at her grave if he knew the truth because he was friends with Mary Simpson and he wouldn't really of remembered her but he touched her gravestone affectionately. Also it was so sad that Billy died i knew from the moment Jessica was pregnant that Jack Thomas was the father as if she'd let Billy sleep with her. All in all i thought it was brilliant very emotional. i have a new-found respect for mini-series.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Captivating refreshing honest look at one girl's journey
Black_Velvet_Au20 July 2004
Usually I don't enjoy Australian mini series due to the fact that most of the actors can not act but as I sat down to watch Jessica I was captivated. Jessica is an honest refreshing look at a young girl's journey through a tragic life.

Leeanna Walsman who plays Jessica is refreshing and shoulder's the response of carrying a mini series on her small shoulders. She brings the character to life and is quite believable. This is one girl who will be going places.

Sam Neill is impressive as the drunken Runchie who helps Jessica out and is quite believable.

Lisa Harrow is quite scary as the believable evil mother who sacrifices one daughter for the sake of another. Theirs never been a person I have felt pure hatred for until i met Hester Bergman.i felt she brought the character to life and felt real sorry for Jessica for having a mother like her.

Tony Martin as Joe Bergman (Jess's father) fitted into his role quite nicely. He was believable as the lovable yet detached Joe who looked after his tomboy daughter while his wife was busy with Meg their other daughter who was all into frills and boys.

Olive Ackland as the lovable cute Jack Thomas is a face to watch for. His excellent in his roles and captivates the audience as we see his character grow throughout the film.

All in all the movie was amazing experience to watch and I'll never forget it. I haven't read the book but i can not wait to go out and buy it. Jessica was truly an amazing person who grew stronger each day...

The scenery was beautiful and the whole cast made an amazing mini series that they should be proud off. I don't want to describe what happens because it will ruin the series.

I give this a 10/10 and recommended it anyone who loves mini series and true stories.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
No justice for the book..
qball_8218 July 2004
The book on which this film is based is an extraordinary read. I had fairly expectations for this small screen adaptation and sadly, it's left quite a bitter taste in my mouth. Disappointing to say the least.

This film falls apart thanks to its woeful cast, with wooden dialog and unconvincing characterizations abound. Perhaps the only faces you will recognize belong to seasoned actors Sam Neil and John Howard, who each give fairly solid performances in their supporting roles (emphasis on the word SUPPORTING). The main cast? The people whose shoulders the entire film rests upon? Newcomer Leeanna Walsman in the title role of Jessica, tries to bring the ballsy young woman to life but for the most part crashes and burns in an explosion of poor acting. Lisa Harrow and Megan Dorman play the evil, manipulative Hester and Meg Bergman, but both highly incapable of eliciting any such belief in their roles. Oliver Ackland as Jack Thomas, the object of Jessica and Meg's affections, is simply a pretty face with very little substance and/or depth, hardly worth mentioning.

So what is left? Visually, Jessica contains some slick cinematography that brings the era to life perfectly. But pretty pictures doth not a good movie make. Aurally, the soundtrack becomes very repetitive, containing little variation from the sombre piano riff and a moping, depressive violin.

I know, 9 times out of 10 a film adaptation is never going to exceed the written material. But with such great material as its basis this film could have been something wonderful. That and the addition of a much better cast and a new music man... Bad, bad, bad.
5 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
baroncoco15 June 2018 won't miss anything. It MIGHT have made one movie, but at this length? No. And talk about "good guys and bad guys", wow. You'd have tone about ten years old for this level of morals and characters. Don't bother.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pindleley story of woked outback Boogie!
buttyfrench18 May 2018
This movie had the tinker done to it in the worst way. They all four times the stuff of another several movies rolled into the wildest one was not know because it was just too weird to give that information. She did not have the Aussie thing to do in half of the film? What gives? It had none of that. Would somebody please tell me why. I did not understand a bit of what they were trying to say. God, why can they make sense?
1 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
jessica rocked!
dotti_diva_922 August 2004
jessica rocked! it did bring the book justice and i'd go so far as to say it was even better! The acting was genuine (leeanna walsman was kickarsed). I really felt what Jessica was going through, Leeanna was so convincing. Jessica was a beautiful character who deserved far more than the pain she got. This miniseries really touched me. I went and bought the book and now I have a constant reminder of this great Aussie drama. p.s. does anyone have any idea on whether it will be bought out on DVD?

oh and is jessica a true story? i hope Leeanna gets the praise and recognition for her great reenactment of Jessica
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed