I love epics, they’ve always made me escape to another place called the movie screen, huger than life in all its glory. In Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, I wanted to escape from the theater after the film’s first half, as within two hours it felt like the movie was over, and Australia: the sequel was about to begin. Epics are supposed to be long, right? But when both the script and the leading characters lack substance, nothing is left but an overdose of stunning images, mainly in slow motion with an impressive music behind. Paying homage to classic Hollywood epics was a sweet idea, but instead of creating a Gone with the wind esque film in its core, the director mainly delivered one cliche after another. Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) ain’t Scarlett O’Hara and Drover (Hugh Jackman) ain’t… Clint Eastwood. Epics are usually influenced by a variety of genres, but Australia is very peculiar in this aspect. Nicole’s character is firstly an affected version of Meryl Streep in Out of Africa, I could almost picture her saying “I had a farm in Darwin in the middle of nowhere”, while wearing designer gloves and hats. Suddenly she becomes a widow and puts on some dirty pants so a western begins, but after the cows are gone, bombs and evil japanese soldiers come to start a world war 2 film. Lady Ashley goes through all that and still finds time for falling deeply in love, defying her time’s morality code and “adopting” an aboriginal child. Everything is very predictable, cheesy, and have I already mentioned that it lacks substance?

Australia (Australia, USA, 2008) Directed by Baz Luhrmann. Starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Brandon Walters.


24 Comments to “>Australia”

  1. >I love reading epics, they are really great and long. I'm currently in a class where we read a bunch of epics!

  2. >Fashion Addict: I've never read an epic! Neither a really loooong story. I couldn't even go through Tolkien's TLOTR trilogy, I stopped after the first book. But somehow I love epics on the movie screen.

  3. >So you liked it?Hehehe.Here in Australia it has been such a big deal. I am not a big fan of Nicole's so I refused to give her the satisfaction of one extra dollar or what ever it is at the box office.

  4. >June, it wasn't all bad, there were some positive things, like its cinematography, the costumes and the child actor (Brandon Walters, very charismatic). And the landscapes are to die for, it sort of works like a "visit Australia" advertisement hehe

  5. >Romeika, impressionante. Muito do que vc disse em seu texto eu citei no meu. As mençõs à Entre Dois Amores e afins, por exemplo. Achei o filme gostoso de se ver, mas com defeitos e clichês…Se puder, dá uma lida no meu texto.Beijos!!

  6. >Kau, acabei de ler e comentar seu texto, realmente tivemos opinioes bem semelhantes, a diferenca eh q nao me deliciei vendo o filme hehehe Achei uma tortura em varios momentos, inclusive deixei o cinema com dor de cabeca:-) Bjs!

  7. >Comentei em outro blog que acho que Baz Luhrmann, às vezes, se perde em seus próprios devaneios. Acho que ele exagera demais e deveria aprender a ser simples. Quem sabe, "Australia" o ensine uma lição que ele precisa aprender urgentemente.Bom final de semana!

  8. >Puxa, pensei que esse filme seria bem melhor (julgando por seus comentários, já que ainda não o vi), mas pelo menos parece ter um visual belíssimo. Abs!

  9. >i love your movie reviews. i had a bad feeling about australia, so i skipped it when it hit theaters. you pinpoint the pitfalls without being too flowery (or blatantly rude) about it.

  10. >Sad day, this film did sound too good to be true. I just watched "War and Peace" and I am back into the epics!

  11. >ha! I so agree with you Romeika. It's just a pity that it was done so horribly; it could have been a beautiful vehicle to promote Australia with. Too many cliches and over-stereotyped characters. It's back to Gone With The Wind for me…ness x

  12. >Romeika, assisti "Austrália" hoje e, apesar da boa qualidade técnica, acho que o estilo videoclíptico de filmar do Baz Luhrmann não combina com o gênero épico. O filme mais me deu sono que despertou meu interesse na sua história….

  13. >the actual quality of the film was great and had great effects and such, but if its not good, it cant last 2 hours or more.

  14. >Kamila, eu gosto do estilo maximalista do diretor em "Romeu e Julieta" e principalmente "Moulin Rouge", que eu amo. Mas nao foi dessa vez mesmo. Eu nao tive sono, mas como disse ao Kau, fiquei com dor de cabeca ao fim:-S Quando chegou a parte da guerra, eu ja estava meio agoniada heheVinicius, o visual do filme eh realmente lindo, eh um dos seus pontos positivos. Abs!copperoranges, I think it's awful being very mean/rude, so I try being reasonable, and glad u think so:-)The clothes, yes, such a disappointment!Ness, exactly! It could be more about the country, its history and culture than a cliche love story, such a pity.Laura, the visual is indeed stunning, but it was sort of a torture going through all that cliche for nearly 3 hours. Cliches and overacting weren't a problem in Moulin Rouge, for example, I think it was perfect for the film story and it made all sense, but not here..

  15. >Ah! Que pena que o filme nao parece ser bom. Mesmo vivendo na Australia, e sendo um pouco fa de Baz Luhrman, nao tenho vontade de ver este filme, pois nao pensei que seria bom, que agora e confirmado por seu 'review'…

  16. >I feel like I should watch it any way but I knew it was going to be not great! oh well

  17. >i was really looking forward to this film. until it came out and i read the reviews. normally i don't pay much attention to reviews. but now that you say so, i'll wait for australia to preview on television.

  18. >Pitty. I love Baz, the actors and expected a lot much. I fell in love with the preview. But by what you said it's all spectacle and no pay. Trully sad…I'll try and watch it this month still….Ciao!

  19. >Tô querendo ver, mas ainda não bateu aquela vontade q me faça sair da cadeira.

  20. >Olá Romeika,Vou ver este filme só pelo figurino mesmo…não sou nem muito fã de Nicole Kidman…Sobre Melk Z-da…ele é tudo…gostaria muito de ter algo dele….qualquer dia vou no atelier dele (lá no bairro de Casa Forte) ver se tem algo que possa comprar…tenho medo dos possíveis preços….no entanto, ele é maravilhoso!

  21. >I have only heard bad things about this film. And it's not that I had high expectations but part of me was really looking forward to seeing it… Now I don't think I ever will 😛

  22. >I adore epics! Can't wait to see this one!

  23. >I haven't seen the movie yet. But for what I've heard it's such a waste. First a waste of 2 good actors. Then a waste of a good director. And finally a waste of your time.Cool blog. Loved it!

  24. >I loved the movie. I want to go to Australia some day:-)

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