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Australia

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Australia

Baz Luhrmann (2008)

158min
12 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
There's no faulting Baz Luhrmann's ambition: this old-fashioned, $130 million epic romantic adventure was intended as his Gone with the Wind. At the start of the Second World War, Nicole Kidman's hoity-toity English lady arrives in Australia to confront a husband she believes is being unfaithful. The stunning vistas of northern Australia provide built-in visual splendour, and the spit-and-sawdust world of cattle ranching is personified by Hugh Jackman's cross between Indiana Jones and "Crocodile" Dundee. Unfortunately the action, built around a feud about land ownership and Kidman and Jackman's on-off affair, veers from melodramatic to plain silly. Luhrmann attempts to weld a screwball comedy to a romance, a western and a war movie, while not patronising the Aborigines (which Luhrmann seeks to sanctify in a subplot involving an orphaned half-Aboriginal, half-white child that Kidman befriends) - aiming for camp excess while demanding that we take the film seriously - but is defeated by the task. One day it may become a cult classic, but for now, Australia is really his Pearl Harbor.

Summary

An aristocratic Englishwoman inherits a vast cattle station in the Australian Outback in the 1930s. When her land comes under threat from a rival farmer aiming to build a monopoly, she is forced to lead her herd across the wilderness to secure the farm's future, falling for a tough stock-man and forming a friendship with a half-Aboriginal boy along the way. However, as they make their journey, the country becomes drawn into the Second World War. Baz Luhrmann's romantic drama, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

Cast & Crew

Lady Sarah Ashley Nicole Kidman
The drover Hugh Jackman
Neil Fletcher David Wenham
King Carney Bryan Brown
Kipling Flynn Jack Thompson
King George David Gulpilil
Nullah Brandon Walters
Magarri David Ngoombujarra
Dutton Ben Mendelsohn
Cath Carney Essie Davis
Administrator Allsop Barry Otto
Dr Barker Bruce Spence
Ivan Jacek Koman
Ramsden Ray Barrett
Skipper (Qantas Sloop) Bill Hunter
Sergeant John Jarratt
Director Baz Luhrmann
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: 20th Century Fox Guidance: Violence, swearing. Available on: Available on DVD and BluRay Released on: 26 Dec 2008

Drama

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