Australia (Australie) (Bilingual)
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Watching the early reels of Australia, there's certainly no doubt who's in charge: this could only be a film by Baz Luhrmann, that wacky purveyor of all things over-the-top. In this old-fashioned, 165-minute hymn to his native continent, Luhrmann travels back to the late 1930s/early '40s, for a scenario that would not have been out of place at MGM in that era. Straightlaced Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) journeys Down Under and is put under the protection of--crikey--a rugged cattle driver known only as the Drover (Hugh Jackman). When the two are forced to team up (along with a motley crew of misfits) to take a herd of cattle through the hostile landscape, their way is challenged by the dastardly plans of the local beef baron (Bryan Brown) and his elaborately evil lieutenant (David Wenham). At some point you realize that this film's main commodity is not cattle, but corn: Luhrmann piles on the melodrama and the old-school climaxes with his usual frantic glee. Employing "When You Wish Upon a Star" and the Japanese air force to make his case is not beyond Luhrmann, and he reaches big here. Those with a taste for un-ironic silliness might just go for this stuff, but even fans of the Baz will have their patience tested by the broad comedy and the absence of discernable chemistry between Kidman and Jackman. Australia does manage to skewer the culture's prejudices against the Aboriginal people, but in this context such a victory comes across as rather tinny. --Robert Horton
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Top Customer Reviews
1. Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) heads off Down Under to find out what her hubby is really doing when he says he's mustering cattle.
2. Kidman's performance is her best since Far and Away, and the cattle ranch Down Under is named Faraway Downs - coincidence or lingering sentiment?
3. Super hot Aussie all-rounder and hoofer Hugh Jackman heats up the screen as Drover, the Crocodile Dundee-type chappy who rounds up the cattle on the hoof.
4. Turns out that Lady Sarah ends up in the middle of a cattle war with the reigning King Carney (Bryan Brown) and his slimy sidekick Neil Fletcher (David Wenham)
5. Some of the story is narrated by Nullah (Brandon Walters) a young half-caste boy who sends Lady Sarah's heart over the rainbow
6. No prizes for guessing who else sets her heart aflutter
7. When droving cattle towards a billabong, never say Never Never
8. Still about two hours to go for this epic romance/adventure/drama that highlights the fate of half-Aboriginal children known as the Stolen Generations with the backdrop of the Japanese bombing of Darwin during WWII
9. You won't notice how long you've been sitting there
After watching this movie you'll want to know why it hasn't been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. (It's up for Costume Design) You'll find that it's both a heart-breaking and heart-warming memorable epic movie with big sets, gorgeous scenery, award-worthy costumes, magic and mysticism, humor, and yes, great acting.
Caution: Watching this movie may give one the urge to:
1. Load up a tucker-bag and head off on a walkabout
2. Throw another shrimp on the barbie
3. Tie a kangaroo down, Sport
4. Watch Judy Garland movies
Amanda Richards, February 14, 2009
Most recent customer reviews
WE HAVE WATCHED THIS MOVIE A FEW TIMES AND I STILL ENJOY SEEING IT. I AM NOT A BIG NICOLE KIDMAN FAN BUT I REALLY LIKE HER IN THIS MOVIE. LOVE HUGH JACKMAN!!Published 2 months ago by SCOTTY
:Australia was a good srory but I found it disturbing. Otherwise I found it to be a good movie and beautifully filmed.Published 7 months ago by Doris
This was a wonderful Australian story and the photography was very good, really enjoyed this moviePublished 10 months ago by N.