Home / Portfolio / Exile (1994)

Exile (1994)



Director: Paul Cox
Writers: Paul Cox, E.L. Grant Watson (novel)


Aden Young … Peter Costello
Beth Champion
Claudia Karvan … Jean
Norman Kaye … Ghost Priest
David Field … Timothy Dullach
Chris Haywood … Village Priest
Barry Otto … Sheriff Hamilton
Hugo Weaving … Innes
Tony Llewellyn-Jones … Jean’s Father
Nicholas Hope … MacKenzie
Gosia Dobrowolska … Midwife
Tammy Kendall … Alice

Peter Costello (Aiden Young) is spared the death penalty and exiled to an uninhabited – and seemingly uninhabitable – island, where he is made ‘outside the law’ and banished from society to spend the rest of his life alone. His crime? Stealing a handful  of sheep to increase his stock to the level needed  to marry upper class Jean (Claudia Karvan), later found pregnant with his illegitimate child and given a shotgun wedding to the charitable MacKenzie.

Scared, confused and utterly alone, Peter manages a meagre survival on the island while coming to terms with increasingly overpowering hallucinations. His isolation is eventually broken by the unwelcome arrival of Mary, a servant and social outsider with romantic delusions, who breaks the banishment by offering herself to the seemingly glamorous outlaw figure.

When she unwittingly becomes trapped with him, Peter is forced to come to terms with the intrusion and her dependence on him. As they inevitably grow closer, his hallucinations intensify, and when Jean finally comes to the island to be with him, he rejects the woman he sacrificed his freedom for as just another illusion.