Australia

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The audacious visual stylist Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet) has made an epic historical romance about his native country. The film is set in northern Australia prior to World War II and centers on an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a massive cattle station. When Aussie cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man (Hugh Jackman) to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor months earlier. The film also deals with the Lost Generation.

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165mins

Rating: M contains violence & offensive language

USA, Australia

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Director Baz Luhrman, with a history of successful reinvention, sets a tale of ravenous romance against a backdrop of frontier Australia, the Stolen Generation, and an encroaching Japanese threat on 1940s Darwin. It’s a giddy, indulgent, pretty-faces-on-pretty-landscapes styled epic with the crosshairs aimed squarely on the romantic grandiose of old Hollywood. The ambition is palpable and the exuberance is endearing, but the film strains so hard to implore a sense of the epic that the result is well overwrought.

Nicole Kidman charms as English Rose, Lady Sarah, giving her role spirit and heart. Also great is her opposite to attract, Hugh Jackman as a manbeast Ocker. But the show is stolen by cheeky, soulful youngen Brandon Walters as Nullah – the “mixed” Aboriginal kid at the centre of the movie’s most intriguing angle: the relationship between Australia’s settlers and Aborigines. There are stunning set pieces and it looks gorgeous too, with CG backdrops used to create a painterly, water-coloured, soundstage aesthetic.

Australia had me for the first hour but by film’s end, too many ideas muddle. There are too many red herrings, too many renditions of 'Over the Rainbow' and Hugh Jackman emerges from the mist too many times. It flagrantly repeats itself, and the result feels laboured. While I don’t doubt some will fall head over heels for the film’s sense of romance and high drama, running at over two and half hours, you’ll certainly want to take a cushion. I could’ve done with a sleeping bag.

Chicago Sun-Times [Roger Ebert]

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It is exuberantly old-fashioned, and I mean that as a compliment.

Empire [Australia]

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Bravo, Baz Luhrmann. He’s created one of the best-realised films in Australian history. Strewth.

Hollywood Reporter

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Defies all but the most cynical not to get carried away by the force of its grandiose imagery and storytelling.

Los Angeles Times

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If you are willing to take the plunge and view things through Luhrmann's prism, "Australia" does deliver the classic dramatic and romantic satisfactions its ambitious advertising campaign promises.

New York Times

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A testament to movie love at its most devout, cinematic spectacle at its most extreme, and kitsch as an act of aesthetic communion.

Rolling Stone [USA]

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If looks were everything, director Baz Luhrmann's epic salute to his native land would be the movie of the year. But, crikey, a padded script bloated with subplots and shameless sentimentality can wear you down.

San Francisco Chronicle

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Australia shows all the signs of having been a labor of love for director Baz Luhrmann. One problem: It's his love, and the audience's labor.

Sydney Morning Herald

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A big-hearted melodrama, it takes a series of fascinating risks, some of which come off. But it's no super-movie.

Variety [USA]

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Deliberately anachronistic in its heightened style of romance, villainy and destiny, the epic lays an Aussie accent on colorful motifs drawn from Hollywood Westerns, war films, love stories and socially conscious dramas. Some of it plays, some doesn't, and it is long.

Should have made New Zealand

over acted farce of a movie the only highlight was the young aboriginal child who was a pure angel to watch such a talented young thing

Stunning

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Stunning

i loved the way the Australia was full of allegory and reference to other movies or real events, including Rolf Harris' wobble board! - Fabulous, funny and thought provoking movie, Nicole's best performance and Hugh was warm and funny too. I look forward to seeing it again.

A really good STORY

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A really good STORY

Exciting beginning, exciting middle and a blockbuster ending !!!

More please!

And MORE Hugh Jackman please !

A Classic Epic Drama Romance

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A Classic Epic Drama Romance

I loved this movie so much, the music, the cinematography, the performances are all brilliant. It is a moving epic story that is obviously trying to bring back the movies of "Gone with the Wind" era, and I think it does an even better job of the epic war drama than GWTW did! Nicole Kidman is actually good for the first time since she won the Oscar and her chemistry with Jackman is simply splendid. David Wenham is similarly dispicable as the villain of the piece and the young newcomer playing the young Aboriginal boy is what holds the whole thing together. A DVD purchase for sure and one I will watch many times over :)

A Brillian Epic Drama

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A Brillian Epic Drama

I unashamedly endorse this as a hugely enjoyable film. It brings together great acting, powerful and enjoyable cinematography, action, and social comment with a historical perspctive. At no time was I bored and I did not think it was too long at all and the final victory of aboriginal culture over over white patronising motherliness was refreshing.

A fabulous story!

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A fabulous story!

My European husband was adamant he didn't want see it after reading some less than complimentary reviews. Don't believe a word of the critics! They are clueless when it comes to thinking in any other way that doesn't sit within the realms of a typical western critique! Give yourself more credit and go enjoy a fabulous story (despite the movies obvious weaknesses)...a thoroughly enjoyable movie and for the hopeless romantic, the perfect length! Incidentally, my husband thought it was a beautiful movie!

escapist excellence

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escapist excellence

Great !

Australia

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Australia

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen & I have seen a ton! It has something for everyone - drama, suspense,romance,murder,awesome scenes of the outback and tons of excitement. Sure, some of the scenes are a little drawn out - but hey! what a great movie.go and see it for yourself.......

Brian1

Brian

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Worth going too

Those expressing disappointment and low ratings are, I believe, over-doing it.

Whilst not one of the gra=eat epics, Australia did entertain, did show off a little of that country and did present a little history. Not bad in one movie.

entertainment!

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entertainment!

I went with my husband and two friends and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very entertaining! The begining was a bit cheesy but not once did we get bored. I would recomend this movie