Beresford, Bruce

Beresford, Bruce, 1940–, Australian film director, b. Sydney, grad. Sydney Univ. (1962). Beresford moved to England, worked for the British Film Institute (1966–71), and made several modest films. Returning home in 1971, he became known as one of Australia's “new wave” directors, excelling particularly at intimate period dramas. His first popular success was the darkly humorous Don's Party (1975). He scored his first real hit with the intense Breaker Morant (1979), based on a Boer War incident. In the early 1980s, Beresford moved to the United States, where he won considerable praise with the subtle, Texas-set Tender Mercies (1982). His greatest success was the Academy Award–winning Driving Miss Daisy (1989), a moving tale of friendship between a wealthy Southern widow and her African-American chauffeur. His other films include The Getting of Wisdom (1977), Crimes of the Heart (1986), Black Robe (1991), Paradise Road (1997), and Bride of the Wind (2001). He is also a screenwriter and producer, and has directed a number of opera productions.

See study by P. Coleman (1993).

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