8:05 PM, 19th May, 1999
'Family' means different things to different people. Often different things to people in the same family. Radiance brings the remaining members of one family - three adult sisters - back together after some years apart, for the funeral of their mother who has just died at the old family home.
The sisters are a few years apart in age, have evolved different lives for themselves and all have different fathers. The oldest is Cressy (Maza), an internationally successful opera singer who daren't sit down lest she crease her clothes, pregnant Nona (Mailman) is the baby, an occasional prostitute in the big city, who thrives on attention and idealises everything, while middle sister Mae (Morton-Thomas) is a nurse, bitter at being the one who looked after their mother until her death.
Rachel Perkins' debut feature as Director is confident and bright, capturing the northern Queensland location of hot windswept beaches and canefields, while portraying what many would consider an idyllic house in a secluded location as being remote, isolated and all too familiar to the sisters. Only a couple of plot-timing glitches detract from the flow. All three leads are equally impressive, adding greatly to the depth of their characters as written, with Deborah Mailman's naively exuberant and optimistic Nona voted Best Actress in the 1998 AFI Awards - her first film role.