The Eye of the Storm (2011)

Filmed in Melbourne, Sydney and Far North Queensland, and based on the novel by acclaimed author Patrick White, ‘The Eye of the Storm’ is about children finally understanding themselves, through the context of family.


The Eye of the StormIn a Sydney suburb, two nurses, a housekeeper and a solicitor attend to Elizabeth Hunter as her expatriate son and daughter convene at her deathbed. In dying, as in living, Mrs Hunter remains a formidable force on those around her. It is via Mrs Hunter’s authority over living that her household and children vicariously face death and struggle to give consequence to life.

Estranged from a mother who was never capable of loving them Sir Basil, a famous but struggling actor in London and Dorothy, an impecunious French princess, attempt to reconcile with her. In doing so they are reduced from states of worldly sophistication to floundering adolescence.The children unite in a common goal – to leave Australia with their vast inheritance. Moving through Sydney’s social scene, they search for a way to fulfil their desire. Using the reluctant services of their family lawyer Arnold Wyburd, a man long in love with Mrs Hunter, they scheme to place their mother in a society nursing home to expedite her demise.

Panic sets in as the staff sense the impending end of their eccentric world. Mrs Hunter confesses her profound disappointment at failing to recreate the state of humility and grace she experienced when caught in the eye of a cyclone fifteen years earlier.

For the first time in their lives, the meaning of compassion takes the children by surprise. During a ferocious storm Mrs Hunter finally dies, not through a withdrawal of will but by an assertion of it. In the process of dying she re-lives her experience in the cyclone. Standing on a beach, she is calm and serene as devastation surrounds her.

Key Cast

Charlotte Rampling – Mrs Hunter

Judy Davis – Dorothy

Geoffrey Rush – Basil

Alexandra Schepisi – Flora

John Gaden – Arnold Wyburd

Helen Morse – Lotte

Colin Friels – Athol Shreve

Robyn Nevin – Lal

Press ‘Eye of the Storm’ has premiere in New York…

Hollywood Reporter Director Fred Schepisi to Receive Vanguard Award at Vail Film Festival… The Eye of the Storm U.S. rights sold to Sycamore Entertainment…

The Age The Eye of the Storm nominated for 12 AACTA awards… The Eye of the Storm wins Jury Prize at Rome International Film Festival…

Hollywood Reporter A second jury prize, not normally awarded in Rome, was give to Fred Schepisi’s Australian film…

The Age Australian film wins in Rome Fred Schepisi ‘The Eye of the Storm’ video interview.

The Age Alexandra Schepisi had a few awkward family moments in The Eye of the Storm.