Australia

  • 12
  • Baz Luhrmann (2008)
  • US / Aus
  • 158 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

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.

Plot Summary

Romantic period drama directed by Baz Luhrmann, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. In the weeks approaching the Second World War, an English aristocrat travels to Australia to confront her errant husband. There she forms an unlikely bond with a drover as she strives protect the huge ranch she has inherited.

Cast and crew

Cast

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

Crew

Director
Baz Luhrmann

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Guidance: 
Violence, edited for language.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 26 Dec 2008
Certificate 12
Categories
Drama

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