Australia - the movie. Baz Luhrmann, Kidders & Huge Jackman!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455824/

Finished just last week (apparently) since Baz couldn't decide which of the three(!) endings that he shot would best help the Australian Tourist Commission recoup their substantial investment in the film (some $50m, or a third of the budget according to estimates) - this is an almost three hour long travelogue of the Australian outback, thinly disguised as an inter-war, Mills & Boone-type, colonial bodice-ripper.

Wolverine (Huge Jackman) plays an uncouth stockman/cattle drover, imaginatively named 'Drover' and the exo-skelton of Nicole Kidman plays Lady Sarah Ashley, a clueless English snob who inherits a cattle station in the 'out' part of the outback. Obviously, love ensues. Huge & Kidders also get to witness the Japanese bombing of Darwin up close and personal, with footage that looks like it was salvaged from the cutting-room floor of the equally mind-numbing 'Pearl Harbor'. If only they'd done a better job; Darwin is a wretched place. The rest of the cast is littered with well-know faces, ie domestic Australian actors that nobody outside of Australia really stands much chance of recognising.

The local media is frothing at the mouth about this one : apparently it will "save the Australian film industry". And indeed, saving it needs, when the combined gross of a few million dollars for all films nominated for the Australian Film Industry Awards (the equivalent of the Oscars) this year barely scrapes past the weekend's takings nationwide for the new Adam Snadler flick. Yes, it's been a while since Crocodile Dundee. 

And as Baz settles back into his new-found role of making feature-length tourism commercials for the Australian government, the important question thus remains : will it put foreign bums on foreign seats? Who knows. But what we do know is that after the two and a half hour mark, they'll certainly be numb.

Rating : 2 kangaroos out of 5.


11 Comments

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At least Australian actors are doing a movie about Australia

Rajah's picture

I had no idea the Japs attacked Darwin! They were against his theory of evolution too I suppose. This sounds like that Western epic(I forget the name) Kidman did with Tom Cruise. Most of my knowledge of Australia is based on the Mad Max Movies, The Thornbirds, The Man from Snowy River and Dundee

I predict this will be a box office disappointment

HS's picture

X-Men notwithstanding, Jackman hasn't really had any bankable hits, and neither has Kidman, really, despite being in seemingly every other movie that came out between 2001 and 2004.  

I'm sure it'll get the requisite Best Cinematography nomination, but that'll be about it.

 

HS

Rajah, are you talking about Far and Away?

TMundo's picture

I remember seeing that one a few times.

Darwin's unlucky indeed

FearlessFreep's picture

One year they got hit by a typhoon on Christmas day! (Not that there are good days to be hit by a typhoon, but still...)

Calling Jackman's drover Drover reminds me of TOP GUN, where Tom Cruise played a "maverick" character with the nickname Maverick.

At least AUSTRALIA has the Oprah Winfrey Seal of Approval. (Ditto the upcoming THE READER, based on one of her book club selections.)

Signed, 

The artist formerly known as Zorro.

The real star of Australia is

Missy-Busty's picture

BRANDON WALTERS! Not the scenery, not Nicole & Hugh but Brandon Walters - he not only plays the central character but also narrates the movie all 2 plus hours. He is half native aboriginal & is only 12 years old. This is his first movie & he is terrific - just as good as Tatum O'Neill was when she was 12. Forget what you have heard or read about Australia & just treat yourself to one of the best movies ever. It is a movie lover's bonanza.

Australia versus Australia

RidingFool's picture

I'm sorry for the spoilers.

Australia has flies. Australia has no flies.

Australia has drovers. Australia has Drover.

Australia has people with wrinkles on their face. Australia has people so smooth that a flie couldn't find traction. See paragraph one.

Australia's outback is inhabited by real characters. Australia's outback is inhabited by bad actors.

Australia and its Abos have a long and conflicted past. Australia and its Abos are a charicature of some screenwriter's imagination and a director's lack of same.

And I haven't even seen the movie yet.

Don't bonk me with your boomerangs!

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

I seriously think I will see "Australia".  Baz is a spaz, but I tend to like his over the top shenanigans.  The only negative I can see going into this is Kidman's total lack of sex appeal.  I guess they thought they had to have an Australian actress though.

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  Is anyone else having a problem with clicking on the add comment button?  I am.

PPS:  Give me more sprawling big screen epics!

Total lack of sex appeal?

Rajah's picture

Well, she is a bit heavy on the make-up and she once was Tomkat's wife. Other than that I don't find her too repulsive.

 

Nicole Kidman is a dessicated stick insect

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

F***ing her would be like wedging your weenie in a wombat.

 OK that made no sense and I'm shocked I typed it.

 {;-) Dan in Miami

For anyone having a problem

jazzdrive3's picture

For anyone having a problem like clicking a new button, do a hard refresh in your browser so it's not pulling from a cached css or html file.

All you do is press CTRL-F5.  That should do the trick.

Thanks!

Australia - Movie

kittypooh's picture

the film could have been made by Australia's Ministry of Propaganda and Tourism

 

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