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Having seen huge billboards on the way to work I was surprised to see how quickly this film went from cinema to telly. My mum bought my husband this for christmas, however we have seen it on TV not long before. Having seen it I can see why it wasnt such a hit as it clearly isn't a blockbuster but was an enjoyable albeit average film.
Its a Baz Luhrmann film, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman . Released in 2008 and its rated as 12 and has a run time of approx 158 minutes.
The DVD case is brightly coloured in oranges, with the gorgeous Hugh Jackman in a clinch with Nicole.
Its set in the Northern Australian outback in the 1940's when strong-willed and aristrocratic Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole) goes out to the outback from England to run her deceased (murdered) husbands ranch. She has a difficult time trying to save her ranch from a rival rancher but with the help of Drover (Hugh) and an orphan half-caste aboringinal boy, Nullah (Brandon Walters) she drives her 2,000 head of cattle across the outback. Her relationship with Drover is troubled as he has a wandering spirit.
The side story is Nullah who struggles with his identity as neither black or white, with touching scenes of him trying to pass himself off as aboriginal.
The acting is generally ok, although Kidman comes over as a bit fake in places in her effort to be an english aristrocrat.
You can watch Australia by buying the DVD for £3.42 from Amazon with free delivery but is on terrestrial television intermittently. The film is Ok / average and therefore I am scoring it an average score.
Star - Nicole Kidman & Hugh Jackman
Run Time - 165 minutes
Certificate -12 A
Genre - Western/Melodrama
Country - Australia
Awards - One Oscar Nomination (costume design)
Just as Oliver Stone apologized to America for all his cynsicm and mistrust of his government by directing the sickly 'World Trade Centre' to try and heal the gaping wounds the liberal left carved open over 911, Baz Lurhmann's 'Australia' is basically a postcard apology for his beloved countries policy of the so-called 'Stolen Generation', the mass movement of rural aboriginal kids and young adults into western schooling and lifestyles, nearly always against their families will, a human forced extraction that went on right up until the 1970s, mostly driven by the British government that administered the colony. At the time it was the right thing to do as far as the British Empire was concerned and so no-one really queried it, accept the aboriginals.
The stars are Hugh Jackman and the fragrant Nicole Kidman, Australia's finest fittingly cast by Lurhmann for the sprawling project. Male Aussie actors tend to be quite laidback and so imagine the surprise when my brother was in Northampton's Fitness First gym the other day and there was Russell Crowe on the running machine and Hugh Jackman pumping weights, the outright shock of seeing two huge movie stars in Northampton just that. It was because they were filming Les Miserable's in a nearby country house and I believe Hugh was pumping up for another X-Men related movie from a brief conversation my brother grabbed with them. The thought of those two strolling down Northampton's main high street unseen made me chuckle.
As far as Aussie actors go Hugh is yet another hunk voted the worlds sexiest from that part of the world and losing his accent fast to get shallower romcom Hollywood roles. Unlike his co-star here in Nicole Kidman you just don't get the impression Jackman is going to go on and do anything intelligent or dramatic of note in cinema, unless it's for directing, Mel Gibson style. Saying that he is clearly serious eye candy for the girls and any Aussie who wants to crunch the weights with the Northampton locals is alright by me. Aussie actors tend to be more grounded than precious American ones.
Nicole Kidman.............Lady Sarah Ashley
David Wenham............Neil Fletcher
Bryan Brown.............. Lesley 'King' Carney
Jack Thompson............Kipling Flynn
David Gulpilil..............King George
Ben Mendelsohn.......... Captain Emmett Dutton
Essie Davis.................Catherine 'Cath' Carney Fletcher
Sandy Gore.................Gloria Carney
Lillian Crombie............Bandy Legs.
Angus Pilakui..............Goolaj Baloong
Its 1939 and the feisty Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) sets sale for Australia with a mission to get her philandering husband to sell their Northern Territory cattle station Faraway Downs. On arrival she hires handsome and no nonsense cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) to pick her and her train of luggage up and get her to the cattle station. But her husband is murdered shortly before she arrives, the authorities led to believe that the killer is an Aboriginal elder by the name of "King George" (David Gulpilil). Meanwhile, shifty cattle station manager Neil Fletcher (David Wenham) is trying to gain control of Faraway Downs, so that Lesley 'King' Carney (Bryan Brown) will have a complete cattle monopoly in the Northern Territories, giving him negotiating leverage with an Australian army officer, Captain Dutton (Ben Mendelsohn).
Lady Sarah is without child and captivated by cheeky half-caste boy 'Creamy' Nullah (Brandon Walters), who has an Aboriginal mother and a white father, the mischievous kid spending his days in and around the station. Nullah tells Lady Sarah that he has seen her cattle being driven onto Carney's land and so stolen from her. Because of this revelation Fletcher threatens Nullah and his mother, so Lady Sarah fires Fletcher and decides to try to run the cattle station which results in the death of Nullahs mother when the authorities come for the aboriginal family.
To survive in the outback it's critical that she gets her 1500 strong cattle head to Darwin port for sale, 400 miles away, so enough money to save Faraway Downs. After some pouting and bravado Lady Sarah persuades the handsome Drover and his two aboriginal workers to make the trip with her and little Nullah. Because Drover is friendly with the Aborigines he is shunned by many of the other whites in the territory, that animosity towards him resulting in his aboriginal wife being denied treatment and dying in hospital two years back, drover brooding and driven on because of, Lady Sarah soon attracted to his raw machismo and brooding. But Fletcher, on orders from Carney, is determined to stop them getting the cattle to Darwin, all this as war with Japan approaches and the deep sea port the Japanese number one target.
For all its pomp 'Australia' is a perfunctory western John Ford would be proud of, long and sprawling but in a likeable and innocent way. It's big and bold and ends up as a postcard for Australia over any sort of political comment on the gentle outrage of the Stolen Generation. Its also great evidence of star power, the lavish budget of $130 million around an average script and plot paying off with a $211million gross. Kidman can still pull them in. Cowboy movies still seem to work. What woman wouldn't drawl over Hugh Jackman?
It's a Baz Lurmann film but without the singing and dancing, the director, apparently, a bit of a diva on set and reshooting constantly here, wanting to get his postcard tribute to Australia 100%, a majestic and very visual movie. The script is deliberately corny to draw a bigger multiplex crowd to get that money back but plenty of melodrama and action to please the family DVD audience. Its very much Crocodile Dundee meets Wagon Train. The chemistry between Jackman and Kidman is simmering rather than passionate and the soundtrack as pumped and toned as Hugh's pecs. It was also great to see iconic Aussie actor Bryan Brown given work and a great little performance by Brandon Walters as the little aboriginal kid topped out the movie.
The critics were very mixed on it and that seemed to be mainly because visionary and fun director Baz Lurhmann didn't make one of his normal camp and eccentric movies. To me it looks like this was an all Australian project and he felt he needed to do it so to present the image of Australia the tourist like. This is not an intelligent film in any way and somewhat scattergun on what really happened with the stole generation policy. Anyone who goes to Australia will only see mostly drunken and uneducated aboriginals in the city and out in the sticks and so the policy in some ways needed to make Australia's original tribal population function. Once it was stopped the Aboriginal minority just tumbled back to their old ways of fecklessness and 'grog'. Rabbit Proof Fence is a much smarter film on this matter.
Imdb.com - 6.6/10.0 (61,545 votes)
Metacritc.com - 54% critic's approval
Rottentomatos.com - 55% critic's approval
Radio Times Film Year Book - 2/4
Leonardo Maltin's Film Year Book - 3/4
Time Out -' It's a fine romp, epic in both ambition and visuals if not narrative - and if director Baz Luhrmann had stopped at the end of the love story's trajectory, the audience would have left entirely happy'.
The Guardian - 'We are left with slow-moving insincerity and conceit, summoned up in the flatulence of that title: Australia, a country reborn in terms of facetious Hollywood clichés'.
Film4 -'an endurance test of good intentions and tangled ideas, exploited facts and fuzzy fictions, where the performances, like the plot, are slapped onto the beautiful backgrounds with the broadest - and clumsiest - of strokes'.
The Times -'Australia is an enchanting throwback to an era of filmmaking which strived to entertain its audiences with dazzling spectacle and melodrama'.
The NY Post -' Sometimes seems to be overwhelmed by Baz Luhrmann's excess, but the strength of his vision, the appeal of his visuals and the skill of his actors keep the film from capsizing'.
I am a sucker for the old fashioned, big Hollywood epics such as Gone with the wind and Doctor Zhivago, which is why I was absolutely sure I would love Australia when I first saw the trailers.
Although set in Australia (as if you needed telling) this film has all the characteristics of a classic Hollywood epic;
* A hugely famous beauty to play the lead heroine....Nicole Kidman, who naturally plays the utterly sophisticated English rose Lady Ashley.
* A ruggedly handsome man to play the hero, Hugh Jackman (a reason in itself to watch the film) , who is of course the man in whom Lady Ashley meets her match
* A blossoming love story of two people from two completely different worlds
* An awe inspiring backdrop, in this case a ranch set in the wild but beautiful bush in the Northern territory of Australia.
* A war, in this case WW2, which would tear the couple apart
* A cute orphan child that becomes one of the family but is ripped away , in this case an Aborigine child called Nullah.
Right from the start of this film you know you are in for a treat and a step away from the utterly modern Hollywood blockbusters usually hitting us from left right and centre. The film has the opening credits and formatting styles of a 1940s film, with authentic lettering and map pictures used to create the scene.
With Nullah narrating we find out that Lord Ashley, Lady Ashley's husband, has been staying on their ranch in Australia, near to Darwin. With growing money problems, Lady Ashley cannot understand why her husband refuses to sell and flys out to Darwin to sort it out herself.
Being the typical English lady, Sarah Ashley finds herself in a hot, dry country with only the 'Drover' , or Hugh Jackman to us, as her guide and is already out of her element. Upon arrival on the ranch they soon discover Lord Ashley has been killed, supposedly by the Aborigine chief King George, although other parties seem highly suspicious.
After sacking her manager Neil Fletcher, who has been helping the opposition Carney Cattle, Lady Ashley decides to stay on and manage the ranch herself with the help of Nullah, who she has become increasingly entranced by and the Drover, Hugh Jackman.
Desperate to beat Carney to a lucrative cattle contract with the army, on the very eve of WW2 in the pacific, Lady Ashley and the Drover race across the county to get their cattle to the docks on time.
This film is full of excellent action scenes and some fanstastic landscape shots that definitely need the big screen of the cinema to do them justice. As the drover and Lady Ashley spend more time together and get close to Nullah, a beautiful relationship starts to blossom, one that is both funny and touching.
As WW2 erupts the family is torn apart and Nullah is taken to a mission island that puts him directly in harms way.
A true epic that I think will stand the test of time among the greats, Australia is a fantastic film that I would recommend anyone watch!
Baz Luhrmann has never put a foot wrong in my book. Romeo and Juliette and Moulin Rouge would easily be in my top 10 movies of all time - and Sunscreen is an awesome song.
Coming from the glamfest that was Moulin Rouge, though, to a western adventure like Australia, I had no idea what he was going to come up with...Thankfully, he came up with a great, great movie.
Epic is the word - it's on an epic scale, in epic scenery, with an epic story. Whilst it's less singing and dancing than Baz's previous offerings, it's equally glamorous, polished and over-the-top.
I've seen the film criticised for it's cheese...and I can, in part, understand it...but I love cheese like this. Hugh Jackman, who does a good, if not Particularly spectacular job as Drover, the loveable rogue, rarely moves in real time...preferring to ripple in slow motion across the screen. Nicole Kidman who, to be fair, seems to struggle at times with the part - and sports a ghastly Bridget Jones' accent all through the film - is delightfully goofy and heavy handed.
As well as delivering story, scenery and stunning visuals, Australia also delivers emotion in spadefuls...Laughter is scarce, but effective when used, but it's the beauty that get's to me...Two or three of the scenes genuinely move me every time - they're just so well thought out and acted beautifully, thanks to my star of the movie, Brandon Walters playing Nullah...a beautiful, bright young boy caught in awkward times...
The film goes on...and on...and on...But it only adds to the sense of scale of the movie - and there's so much content crammed into the movie, you never feel like any scene should have been cut.
Australia probably won't be to everyone's taste - it's long, it's exuberant and it's atypically classical in it's story telling...but for me, it's just fantastic.
Starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in the leading roles Australia is a great film, directed by Baz Luhrmann who previously brought us Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge. It seems even more authentic having two Australian actors in the leading roles. One of which won her Best Actress Academy Award in 2005 for her role in The Hours.
This is an epic adventure which covers everything from love, passion and war not only telling an unfortable story but also showing you Australia as you've never seen it before. From start to finish it is an engrossing film that will keep you hooked as you see the character unfold and an amazing love develop.
However there is one down side and that is the length. At 158 minutes long it's definately a numb bum film. But as you grow to love the story and charators it seems to fly by.
The film carries a 12 rating and contains use of strong language, and has a moderate use of war and violency.
Special features are minimal but do include a couple of deleted scenes.
Overall this is a film that will have you journey through all your emotions, and leave you wanting more.
Australia, directed by Baz Luhrman, was released in 2008 and stars the fabulous Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. I watched this film after being enthralled by the trailer and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it.
Australia opens with information about the effect of World War II on Australia as well as information on the issue of stolen generations - Aboriginal children stolen from their families and put into a period of re-education. All of this information was quite shocking I must admit and really set the film up well.
Sarah Ashley is an English aristocratic who despite her husbands protesting letter wants to sell Faraway Downs, an inherited ranch in Australia. The warnings she receives however do nothing to put her off the idea and she takes it upon her own back to travel to Australia and do the deed herself. Once in Australia however she realises that all is not quite as it may seem, her husband has been murdered and Nullah, a small aboriginal child, informs her that her administrator, Fletcher, is stealing her cattle.
Infuriated by the goings on and the treatment of her aboriginal employees Lady Sarah Ashley is determined to do something. She had arrived in Australia determined to sell the ranch but had fallen in love with the place as well as rove cattle hand 'Drover'. Now she must protect her property from a vicious take over but that isn't going to be simple. Together she and 'Drover' along with her loyal employees - all unskilled with cattle, apart from Drover - must drive 2,000 cattle across an unforgiving landscape to beat their rivals to the army meat contract.
Everything rests of them succeeding but Fletcher is just as ambitious and his plans involve using Nullah as bait. The action that winds out then tumultuously clashes with the violence of WWII post Peal Harbor.
== OPINION ==
I am well aware that the plot description I have just given is quite lengthy but I will defend this by saying that there is so much going on within the film that what I have written is just a drop in the ocean. Furthermore I have made certain not to give away any of the plot lines other than those revealed to the audience within the first ten minutes of watching.
Like I said in my introduction to this review - I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute spent watching this film. It is in many respects not the sort of film that would usually endear me but from the moment it began I found myself completely wrapped up in it. The story is one that pulls together a tremendous amount of themes as well as feelings and emotions and this for me is its strong point. Furthermore the plot despite being busy and action packed has a certain degree of grounding and I must admit that I never felt that it got ahead of itself and became too far fetched.
Its representation of life in Australia seems to be extremely realistic and the attitudes of different groups that it presents also seem to be highly authentic. The way in which lady Ashley's opinions towards the country and those around her change are handled very well indeed and the relationships she forms are heart-warming to say the very least.
As well as the heart wrenching, at times, tale the plot also includes a degree of humour. Some minor characters have extremely humorous quips and quirks and this for me is a really nice touch. It stops the film becoming too serious and possibly depressing by injecting light moments that brighten up the screen.
The acting throughout the film is top class in my opinion and to be perfectly honest I think it shows Nicole Kidman at her best. She superbly captures the colonialist spirit of aristocratic English women but also brings in tenderness and warmth from the very start as well as a determination to succeed, which allows he to become the person she eventually does. Hugh Jackman is also fantastic as the loveable rouge 'Drover'. Everything about him brings forth the image of a 'cattle-hardened' Australian ranch hand and this is in my opinion what makes him the character he is. He seems authentic and natural and provides a perfect balance to the film with bursts of humour as well as seriousness and an element of a rough and ready nature.
The performance of Brandon Watters as Nullah also deserves a lot of credit because he always manages to get the best out of every scene that he is a part of. He keeps his childish and naïve nature throughout whilst also keeping well away from the stereotypical impression of a child that would probably have been the films downfall. He brightens up the screen whenever he appears and brings forth a lot of humour due to the way that he views the world. Furthermore the way that he is presented as an Aboriginal child is also well worth noting as it is something that really captured my imagination and got me thinking about this native Australian population.
All in all I cannot find fault with this film. It is fantastic in every single aspect and really excels on the cinematic front. The landscape views are tremendous and the explosion graphics towards the end of the film are handled superbly. Furthermore the plot holds itself together very well and remains realistic throughout. It doesn't need external help to ensure that it keeps on the right track and this is something that always makes me warm to a film. Finally the acting from everyone involved is top class and really allows the storyline to impress itself upon the viewer much greater. Wooden acting or an actor with an irritating quirk is always distracting but Australia suffers from neither of these and therefore the final result is a truly spectacular film.
At times Australia feels like an Aussie Tourist Board film as it makes excellent use of the countries natural beauty however beneath all the pomp and wide angle scenic shots there is also a pretty interesting plot and it is an enjoyable enough film however I felt that it was a little too long.
Set at the start ofthe Second World War the story opens with a member of the English aristocracy travelling to Darwin which is located in the Northern Territories of Australia and it is a rather remote and very humid isolated town. Her name is Lady Sarah Ashley, who is played by Nicole Kidman, and she arrives to take over the running of her family farm after her husband died leaving her a widow.
Faced with financial ruin and under pressure from a rival cattle farmer she sets out to steer her cattle across country with only the help of a man called Drover, played by Hugh Jackman and a young Aboriginal boy called Nullah who is played by Brandon Walters however with the war in full swing things are made even more complicated for her.
It is an absorbing film that is perhaps a little over blown in places, Kidman has a return to form in the lead role and I was impressed with her performance, I was not quite as impressed with Jackman, but hey he is good to look at if not a little wooden in the romantic scenes. I was especially impressed with Walters though and the relationship between his character and Sarah was wonderfully managed and very convincing.
It is an impressive bit of film making and there are some spectacular scenic shots in the film. The only slight criticism is the paceof the film did slacken off a bit in the middle segment and could have done with being a bit shorter but overall if is a good film and well worth seeing.
In 1939 at the beginning of World War II, an English aristocrat, Lady Sarah Ashley, travels to Darwin in Australia to take over the running of her farm from her late husband. But when an opposing cattle farmer threatens to take over her land, Sarah attempts to steer her cattle across the country herself with the help of Drover, a cattle driver who she forms an intimate relationship with, and a young Aboriginal boy, Nullah, who Sarah takes under her wing. But on driving the cattle across the harsh Australian outback, the crew only end up riding straight into the Japanese's bombing of Darwin.
~ Cast ~
Lady Sarah Ashley - Nicole Kidman
Drover - Hugh Jackman
Nullah - Brandon Walters
Neil Fletcher - David Wenham
King Carney - Bryan Brown
Kipling Flynn - Jack Thompson
King George - David Gulpilil
I didn't think this would be all that brilliant - no one else I knew was interested in seeing it and the posters and trailers made it look a little old fashioned and I'm not usually keen on old fashioned films. However, I'm so glad that I decided to see it though as this was such a good film. Throughout the whole film I was just sitting there completely engrossed in what was going on on the screen as it was such a powerful and moving story.
The plot mainly focuses on how the white people treated the Aboriginal people and it just makes you grimace in disgust at some of the character's behaviour. We get to see into the lives of the Aboriginals and how their culture is so different from ours and all it ends up doing it making you side with the Aboriginals and go against your own kind. Personally, I was much more interested in this as I'd just recently been to Australia and already knew quite a bit about Aboriginals so this just made me even more interested in it as I felt that I could relate to it a bit more.
The story also focuses on the struggles of the characters trying to make their way across the Australian outback without much food or water and with the high risk of becoming lost and dying. The film is set at the time when the Japanese were bombing the country so we also see an insight into the devastation that this caused the city.
Brandon Walters, the young Aboriginal boy, is so lovely with the most gorgeous big eyes and you can't help but love him and feel so connected to him, despite him coming from such a different culture and background. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman were fantastic too and make a great on screen couple although I did find it a little strange that Nicole Kidman, who is Australian, played an English woman who ends up moving to Australia.
Everything about this film - the settings and landscapes, the acting and characters, the story and emotion - everything was just brilliant. I absolutely loved this film and it's one of those that I could watch over and over again and never get bored.
Running time: 165 minutes
Certificate rating: 12A
Director: Baz Luhrmann
'It's filmed a bit..well..err..strangely', concluded my brother, before going on to say how much he enjoyed this film. I'd forgotton of course that it's one of the Baz Luhrmann family of films and as such it has his trademark melodramatic fantastical touches and epic style of filming. It also has something else familiar - Nicole Kidman - and although she's been criticised a bit for a lack of warmth in this role I thought she did a good job as an English aristocrat getting to grips with her newly acquied cattle ranch in the Aussie outback. Hugh Jackman (ladies you will swoon, I warn you) is great fun as the free spirited Driver but the real star is Brandon Walters as the Aboriginal boy who links the foreground action to the magic, and mystery of the landscape and the native traditions. It might be a bit long for some, not enough action for others and gloss over the politics of wartime life at times. But Luhrmann could teach the Aussie tourist board a thing or two. "What you bloody waiting for?" Just forget that annoying advert and spend a few hours watching this instead.
Australia is a good old fashioned epic directed by Baz Luhrmann about his home country. This film stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, two Aussie superstars. Set in the 1930s and 40s this film is entertaining with a variety of stories to keep you occupied for the 158 minutes run time (although it can feel a little long at points, but this is not too big a criticism).
Nicole Kidman plays Lady Sarah Ashley a very prim English lady who goes to Australia in the late 30s to bring her husband home who went out to sell their cattle station Faraway Downs and secure their financial future. However she arrives in Darwin to be taken to the cattle station by a trusted man of her husband, The Drover (Hugh Jackman) (he is a bit of a loner not wanting to be tied down to anyone or anything and also a bit of an outkast in polite society). When they finally reach Faraway Downs Lady Sarah is completely shocked by her introduction to the country and wants to sell up immediately however they arrive at the cattle station to find her husband murdered.
Lady Sarah finds out that her Husband's Cattle Station Manager Fletcher is mistreating the local aborigine population including his own mixed race son, Nullah (played by Brandon Walters, a very cute kid who steals the show) and cheating the business so fires him on the spot. This leaves her in a quandry as the station must drive its 1500 herd of cattle to Darwin to sell them to the army for beef for the troops, this would save the cattle satation from going under and being sold to the only competitor King Carney. The Drover (Hugh) brings together a motley crew including Kidman, Nullah and an alcoholic accountant to drive the cattle over the challenging Australian landscape, all the while being thwarted by King Carney's henchmen.
The story here turns into a bit of a romance and also focuses on Nullah and his plight, as Kidman's character looks to adopt him. This was a time in Australia where mixed race children were taken away from their mothers and were part of the Stolen Generation.
I don't want to give away much so that if you are going to watch the film you don't know all about it before you see it.
When I originally saw the film in the cinema I thought that the driving of the cattle etc would be where the film would end however Baz Luhrmann had other ideas and then showed the war coming to Australia and Darwin in particular. At the time in cinema I felt it was a bit long but when i watched it again recently on dvd didn't find it so bad (maybe I was expecting it more).
The scenary is spectacular no wonder the Australian Tourist Board used similar style footage and the actor who played Nullah in their adverts for worldwide release. Hugh Jackman was excellent as an old fashioned style action hero, a real star turn. I was not so impressed with Nicole Kidman's character who was often quite annoying (maybe this was the character but I am not so sure).
Definitely worth a watch.
I was first attracted to the film of course by the location. I have always wanted to visit Australia!
The cover shows that it is about romance with Nicole Kidman and High Jackman big and bold on the front. There is also an aged quality about it which fits in to the historic setting, and the rustic and earthy environment it is also set on.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
I thought the plot was generally good. The film was rather long, verging onto three hours, and had many interwoven aspects and storylines. I thought that it was slightly too overcomplicated. The way the story starts off with a mini triumphant story; I thought it was the end! But no... it continues and continues...
Whilst it may be long, it does mean the film becomes a biopic opposed to a shallow film just about a shallow adventure and typical success and happy ending. However, it was evident there was TOO much going on... but nonetheless it worked.
The beginning was rather confusing, could not get everything too many characters sprung up, too few names... but as you keep watching the pieces all fit together afterwards.
Nicole Kidman- Lady Sarah Ashley
Hugh Jackman- Drover
I thought Nicole Kidman did a good job being a strong woman on the outback, and kept her part well, as did Hugh Jackman, strong, manly and fearless. However, when they came together, there was something uncomfortable about the pairing... they just didn't share a chemistry... I don't know what it is... something odd...
Anyway, also Brandon Walters plays Nullah, the aboriginal child Lady Sarah Ashley takes under her wing... and he is a vital part of the storyline. He does a good job but I wouldn't say especially caught my attention.
Nothing of importance... theatrical trailers are boring and any extra scenes just add to the length of the film. I saw a commentary on TV about the film which would've been interesting if added but it is not there.
It is on sale for less than £5 on most websites.
I would recommend this film to a more mature audience (children would get bored!); it is set in Australia- SO beautiful... It is a long film but you will understand it is worth watching. However, I don't think I will revisit for a few years, if ever.
If you have any other questions regarding the product, please feel free to ask me!!
Australia is a film released in 2008 starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. It was directed, partly produced and written by Baz Luhrmann. The film is set in the Northern Territory between 1939 -1942. It contains memorable events from that time such as the invasion of the Japanese and the bombing of Darwin during the Second World War.
The story begins in 1939 when Lady Ashley (Nicole Kidman) travels from Britain to Australia to convince her husband to get rid of his failing cattle ranch Faraway Downs. Lady Ashley's husband is murdered shortly before she arrived; the police inform her that her husband was murdered by an elderly aboriginal man.
Lady Ashley who has never had a child is immediately drawn to Nullah who has an aboriginal mother and an unknown white father. Nullah was my favourite character in the film as despite the situations he found himself in, he always had the courage to pursue what he set out to do.
Along with the help of Drover, Nullah and some others Lady Ashley manages to get the 1500 cattle to Darwin so that they can be sold. During this journey, romance blossoms between Lady Ashley and Drover. They return back to Faraway Downs but a war is about to begin and with the Japanese closing in, Lady Ashley, Drover and Nullah are separated...
Australia is the second highest grossing film ever in Australia and I certainly know why. The casting is excellent, the plot is thrilling and the ending is superb. I would recommend this film to families and people that enjoy epic romance!
I finally watched Australia recently after a few people recommended this to me. It was okay but not great and it is quite long at nearly 3 hours. The film stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in the lead roles.
In this epic, Nicole Kidman plays a British woman who travels to Australia to be with her husband and see how he's getting on there. He runs a large ranch in the outback in Australia and has a thing for aboriginal women. However, when she arrives she finds that he has dies and she must take it upon herself to take over the running of the ranch now he's gone. The love story develops between her and a driver hired to help move cattle, played by Hugh Jackman.
Jackman, plays a real Australian, and is a muscle bound hard working cattle driver. There is tension between the two and Nicole Kidman's character is deliberately annoying. The two do not have too much chemistry between them. A young aboriginal boy played by Brandon Walters comes to stay with them during the height of all the tension and he is very good and probably saves the story.
Unfortunately there is so much cutting back and forth in this movie in the way it is filmed, especially in the first hour or so.
The film features, as you would expect, all sorts of great scenery set in Australia but the characters are then obviously superimposed on which doesn't look great.
The main problem with this film however for me was the length. At nearly 3 hours it was far too long and you lose interest really after about two hours when this could have been ended. Instead there is another 45 minutes or so of irrelevant material that is not really needed. The film did have some good moments and the story was quite good, it just had a few issues with the way it was filmed and also the length.
If you have some time on your hands take a look but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to watch it again
Directed by Baz Luhrmann, 'Australia' was hailed as an epic piece of story telling. The opinion about whether this was true or not seems to be very much divided with this film, so I was keen to see it and decide for myself if it was worth the hype or deserving of the criticism...
* PLOT *
Lady Jane Ashley is a wealthy English woman who is travelling to Australia to assist her husband in dealing with the sale of land and cattle over there. She plans to deal with these transactions and then return to her homeland.
When she arrives, she discovers that her husband has been murdered, with the main suspect being a local native witch doctor. Her husband's death means that she has to overtake the business matters and this involves the moving and selling of cattle. She manages to do this with the help of a cattle drover, who is called Drover (!).
Whilst setting up a home and a life in Australia until her business matters can be concluded, Lady Ashley befriends a little boy called Nullah who is half white and half native Australian. Because of the government's 'Mission' to remove any 'half-breed' children from the land and keep them locked up, away from the rest of society, Lady Ashley finds herself coming to the young boy's rescue on more than one occasion, strengthening the bond between them.
When world war two hostilities reach Australia this turns Lady Ashley's life upside down. Will her new found relationship with Drover survive the troubles? What will become of Nullah?
* MY OPINION *
The first thing I need to comment on is Nicole Kidman's acting in this film. To be fair, I could never be described as the biggest fan of this actress, but any fans of her work would surely see a resemblance between her character in 'Australia' (Lady Jane Ashley) and other films she has done. I felt that Kidman simply re-hashed one of her earlier performances - or perhaps merged a few of them together - and regurgitated it somehow in this film. Hmmm.
Another thing that I couldn't believe was Kidman's accent in this film. She is obviously an Australian actress, but is playing a wealthy, upper-class English woman (which makes me wonder why the directors just didn't employ an English actress to play the lead female role) and she does so badly. Her accent is so difficult to understand at times that I had to pause the DVD at least four or five times throughout the movie so that I could turn on the subtitles to see what she was saying. At other points in the film I found her accent was distracting and this was hard to overlook, as it took my attention from the film throughout.
The next point to note is the length of this movie. I knew it would be quite long before I sat down to watch it but about half way through the film I felt my interest starting to dwindle a little. I also thought that the whole part of the movie in the last half hour or so had a bit of an 'added on' feel to it and I didn't really feel that it contributed anything to the movie overall.
The part of the movie that I am referring to is the World War 2 hostilities and I didn't really feel that this had too much relevance in terms of the film's overall storyline. I feel that the writers of the film kind of 'added on' this section of the film to try and make it more exciting or more dramatic or to make the whole film last longer or something but it wasn't really necessary in my opinion... I would have much preferred it if the storyline had been just about Australia and the troubles contained in their own politics and homeland. Indeed, I got the impression before I watched the film that the main storyline (after the love story of course) was the 'Lost Generation' of children, but the film merely hints at this once or twice, then leaves it alone. I thought this was disappointing, but maybe others wouldn't.
There is a huge love story part to the main plot of the film and this is evident fairly early on in the movie. I felt that the chemistry between Kidman and her love interest 'Drover' (played by Hugh Jackman) was rather luke-warm at best and it didn't come across as being particularly believable or genuine.
This was disappointing for me, especially as the love story theme to the movie is one of the reasons I wanted to watch it in the first place. I was expecting a bit of a modern version of 'Gone with the Wind' and quite frankly, I didn't get it.
I'm not quite sure why the chemistry or the on-screen relationship between Lady Ashley and Drover both failed to deliver, especially as the movie is of the 'high budget' genre and contains some big Hollywood names, but something just didn't 'click' properly.
Hugh Jackman, to be fair, was very good in his role as Drover, making the character likeable and annoying at the same time. I feel that not every actor would have been able to achieve this properly and to the character's full potential, so I feel that Jackman did very well here and credit is due.
Other cast members did well enough in their performances to make them believable and watchable but to be quite honest by the time I had struck up any sort of emotion with any of them - be it good or bad - the damage had already been done with the lack of a decent love story and the tedious accent issues I had with Nicole Kidman to keep my interest for long.
The one huge plus point that I adored about this movie was the drama. There are some very clever action scenes - I won't go into too much detail to avoid spoiling too much for any readers who have not yet seen the movie - and one in particular was astounding, which involved the young Aboriginal boy, Nullah and some cattle. These scenes actually made my eyes almost pop out of my head, such was the fantastic filming and the work involved in this particular section of the film is almost unimaginable.
All in all I was quite disappointed and I most definitely wouldn't feel the need to watch this film again. I am only going to award it two stars, and these are really for all the brilliant action scenes that feature in the film.
The DVD I watched did not contain any bonus features so this review is based on the film only.
An Epic of a film.
How to you go about making a film about a whole country? That was probably what Baz Luhrmann thought when he took on the task of Australia, the big budget film about life in Australia in the 1930's. It is in reality a love story set against a time of war in Northern Australia. I love this time in history and seeing the events unfold in a wonderous country, I think, was really special. I always think of Australia at that time as still being quite rural and unsettled in parts and life must have been very interesting and dangerous for inhabitants there. I think this makes for a really good setting and the scenery of this film to me was an absolute triumph.
Baz Luhrmann has directed Nicole Kidman before in Moulin Rouge and they worked together on this film too. I have heard mixed reviews about Nicole in this film. Her character is an interesting one. She plays Lady Sarah Ashley, an English women and a rather eccentric one at that. She often seemed quite wooden and stilted in this movie and had a really funny accent in my opinion but I think that was her trying to be eccentric in the role and not her being a bad actress. The role called for quite a pushy, English lady from a certain time in history, having to make her own way in the world and that's exactly what she delivered.
The basic plot sees Lady Sarah travelling to Australia to attend to a cattle station, Faraway Downs that her husband (deceased) had purchased. She is transported to the land by an independent cattle drover who is known by the name of Drover. Drover is played by the lovely Hugh Jackman, Nicole's love interest in the film. I liked the chemistry between the two although at times you would think they would never end up together as they are two completely different characters. There are some really touching moments between the two and I thought they were a good pairing.
The best character and I have to say the one that held me captivated to the screen was that of a little boy, Nullah, whom Lady Sarah meets when she gets to Australia. Events unfold which sees Sarah become a sort of guardian to Nullah and their blossoming relationship is really nice to see. Nullah has an Aboriginal mother and a white father and so faces lots of hardships in his life. He is just so sweet and cute and plays his part brilliantly. One of my favourite parts of the film is when Lady Sarah sings Somewhere over the Rainbow (from The Wizard of Oz) to Nullah. It's a beautiful rendition and fits the scene amazingly.
I thought the film was a bit long and some parts could have easily been cut out but then that might not of made it the epic it was. According to an article I read, it is the second-highest grossing Australian film of all time, trailing Crocodile Dundee. The film has been a box office success worldwide, as of 11 April 2009, the film had grossed $211,282,098.
The latest epic drama offering from Australian director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge), starring two Australian actors that have made it big on the international stage, Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.