To quote NY Post Film Critic Lou Lumenick, "Australia has it all...Unfortunately." But..when you take 4 Screenwriters (Names later) & give one, Producer Baz Luhrmann, a $130 Million Budget, it's fair to EXPECT a Movie of "Epic Proportions". And..prepare for it to get compared to that 1939 Epic-of-ALL-Epics: "Gone With The Wind".

As GWTW went, so does "AUSTRALIA": It's a Cinematic Exploration of AussiLand's Past, when, instead of Yankees, ya get Invading Japanese. An arid Outback Cattle "Station" stands-in for "Tara"..Hugh Jackman's "Drover" subs for Rhett, and Nicole Kidman's Lady Sarah Ashley is as High-Bred and Tempermental as any Scarlett O'Hara.

Lady Ashley early-on leaves the Good Life in Mother England behind to head off to Australia to take over her murdered expat hubby's Cattle Ranch..& has to make alliances with Jackman's Drover to get the Critters to Market, so The Bad Guys can't buy her out/& get a Monopoly on Wartime Cattle Exporting. There's also a Racial Problem that mirrors some of Our Southern Ones Backaways, too...& real-life Aborigine David Gulpilil, as "King George", tries his best to help real-half-breed Cute-Kid-Grandson Nullah (Brandon Walters) make the Best of Both Worlds here..(Where Misguided Missionaries snatch Aboriginal Youngsters off to an Island Camp to "educate" them in the White Folks' Ways).

Pandering a bit to An American Audience, get ready to be treated to frequent video & musical snatches from "Wizard of Oz", too. There WERE times I wished I could click my heels together & depart the Theater..(I got kinda tired of Cute Kid always calling Kidman "Boss Lady" while muggin'-the-camera..AND doin' the Narrating Duties. There..for me..was Insufficient Reason for her to become SUCH a Mother-Hen to the lad..but, well, he WAS certainly a Cute I'll now Shaddup.)

The authentic Outback Footage and GREAT Camerawork regularly feeds you the Wide-screen Beauty of those Desolate Areas that are still a Large Part of AussiLand. Serious Cattle Driving Action plus Great Acting WILL eventually overcome your "Couldn't this be Edited-Down?" Hunches.

And..even though there's a LOT of Deja-Vu in the Love Storyline, by The End you won't give a damn. It's Powerful and Beautiful, & like Rain Hits The Desert, this Movie grows on ya.

So.."Hats Off" to Writers Stuart Beattie & Boz Luhrmann, to Richard Flanagan & Ronald Harwood, too. "7 1/2-Outta-10" for a Whole Lotta Entertainment here, with many a Good Nod to Local History.


Big Hugs,

Last edited by "TampaStan" Good; 12/02/08 03:41 PM.