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Jones, Laura (1951 - )

Born
1951
Occupation
Screenwriter

Summary

Laura Jones is an Australian film and television scriptwriter. She has a particular talent for literary adaptations, An Angel At My Table and Oscar and Lucinda being two of her well known efforts.

Ms Jones has been the recipient of three Australian Writers' Guild Awards and twice won the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Screen Writing. She won the Australian Film Institute's Byron Kennedy Award in 1997. She has served as a commissioner on the Australian Film Commission.

Details

Laura Jones was born in 1951, daughter of Australian novelist Jessica Anderson. She began her career writing plays for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, these included Cold Comfort (1985) and Everyman for Herself (1986).

Her move into the film industry began in 1986 with her original screenplay High Tide. High Tide was produced by Sandra Levy and directed by Gillian Armstrong. Judy Davis won an Australian Film Industry Award for her performance as the lead character, Lili. Lili is a back up singer for an Elvis impersonator who gets stranded in a small coastal town. While stuck in the town, Lili befriends a teenager girl who is in fact the daughter she left as an infant.

In 1990, she wrote the film script for An Angel At My Table, adapted from the autobiography of Janet Frame. The film, directed by Jane Campion, narrated the tumultuous life of New Zealander author Janet Frame.

In 1996, The Portrait of a Lady was released. Written by Jones, the film was an adaptation from Henry James' novel of the same title. Set in Europe, The Portrait of a Lady is the tale of a young American woman who challenged old-world sensibilities in order to find true love.

In 1997, she wrote the psychological thriller, The Well. The film is about two very different women who form a tender, yet manipulative, relationship. When one of the women runs over a stranger on the road near their house, a battle of wits between the two women in triggered.

Also in 1997, her third screenplay adaptation A Thousand Acres was filmed. The film was based on the novel by Jane Smiley of the same name, which itself was an adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear.

In 1998, Oscar and Lucinda was released. Written by Jones, the film was an adaptation of Peter Carey's award winning novel. In 1999, Angela's Ashes was released. The film was her adaptation of Frank McCourt's memoir of the same name.

In 2007, Jones wrote the British drama, Brick Lane. The film tells of a young Bangladeshi woman who moves to London for an arranged marriage.

Sources used to compile this entry: McFarlane, Brian, Mayer Geoff and Bertrand, Ina (eds), The Oxford Companion to Australian Film, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1999; Commissioners' Profiles, Australian Film Commission, located at http://afcarchive.screenaustralia.gov.au/archive/annrep/ar97_98/ar_15.html, accessed 2011-01-04.

Related entries

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Archival resources

National Film and Sound Archive

  • Brick Lane, 2007, 772298; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Certain Women, 1973 - 1977, 424311; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • High Tide, 1987, 49303; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Oscar and Lucinda, script, sixth draft, 19.7.1996, 1996, 489517; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • The Well, 1997, 334731; National Film and Sound Archive. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • Biographical cuttings on Laura Jones, film and television writer, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals, BIOG; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Hollie Aerts

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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