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Australia (2008)

Hugh Jackman , Nicole Kidman , Baz Luhrmann  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (630 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Jack Thompson, Bryan Brown, David Wenham
  • Directors: Baz Luhrmann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby TrueHD), French (Dolby Surround), Spanish (Dolby Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (630 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,857 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Australia" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A romantic action-adventure epic set in Australia prior to World War II that centers on an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a large ranch. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) to protect her ranch. Together they experience four life-altering years, a love affair and the bombing of Darwin during World War II.

  • Audio: English, French & Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Surround
  • Language: Dubbed & Subtitled: English, French & Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen: 2.35:1

Watching the early reels of Australia, there's certainly no doubt who's in charge: this could only be a film by Baz Luhrmann, that wacky purveyor of all things over-the-top. In this old-fashioned, 165-minute hymn to his native continent, Luhrmann travels back to the late 1930s/early '40s, for a scenario that would not have been out of place at MGM in that era. Straightlaced Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) journeys Down Under and is put under the protection of--crikey--a rugged cattle driver known only as the Drover (Hugh Jackman). When the two are forced to team up (along with a motley crew of misfits) to take a herd of cattle through the hostile landscape, their way is challenged by the dastardly plans of the local beef baron (Bryan Brown) and his elaborately evil lieutenant (David Wenham). At some point you realize that this film's main commodity is not cattle, but corn: Luhrmann piles on the melodrama and the old-school climaxes with his usual frantic glee. Employing "When You Wish Upon a Star" and the Japanese air force to make his case is not beyond Luhrmann, and he reaches big here. Those with a taste for un-ironic silliness might just go for this stuff, but even fans of the Baz will have their patience tested by the broad comedy and the absence of discernable chemistry between Kidman and Jackman. Australia does manage to skewer the culture's prejudices against the Aboriginal people, but in this context such a victory comes across as rather tinny. --Robert Horton

Stills from Australia (Click for larger image)


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Australia" as seen from another point of view November 2, 2009
By juuul
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I did not see this in theatres on release as the trailers made it look like a big, overly wrought romance... a la Gone with the Wind meets Cimarron and not my cup of tea. Nor am I a fan of Nicole Kidman, so no appeal there. And when I finally saw it, I found it nothing like I expected nor was it much like many of the other reviewers have portrayed. Yes, it used broad, almost stereo-typed characters to carry the "Anglo" story line, and yes, there were actions in the movie that required the "willing suspension of disbelief"; that hardly seems unusual.

However, the thing that made the movie unusual in a most positive way was the telling of the story from the point of view of the racially-mixed "outcast" little boy, Nullah. This introduced an entirely different point of view, signficantly, at least for Americans, of the characters and the story line. While I do not pretend to know much about aboriginal culture, the concepts and importance of "singing" and "stories" were presented sufficiently well to open up the ideas to the large portion of the American audience which likely is unfamiliar with this. A number of strong and appealing cultural ideas were referenced or illustrated either in the dialog / actions of the aboriginal characters or occasionally the brief comments of "The Drover": the geographical mapping of the aborigines through "singing" (music); the importance of one's story and how one connects to the "tribe" / ancestors / universe through "singing" (stories). In fact, the word "sing" as used by Nullah and The Drover in the movie clearly has a richer meaning in this aboriginal context, one which cannot easily be translated directly into American English and which is worth exploring.
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119 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Baz salutes Howard Hawks January 23, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I love Howard Hawks' films...Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, Red River, and Rio Bravo are amazing pieces of entertainment. As I was watching Australia, the new Baz Luhrmann movie with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman, I kept, Baz must really love Hawks' movies, too.

As evidenced by the films above, the mismatched couple who fight and fight until they realize they're perfect for each other (see Much Ado About Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, and Moonlighting as other examples of the form) and the group of underestimated misfits who come together to fight evil are two big elements used again and again by Hawks. Throw in a bit of John Ford's The Searchers and its hard look at racism leading to inhuman deeds and mix well and you have...Australia.

The problem modern audiences may have with Luhrmann's new movie is it's very, very earnest. This is straight ahead epic storytelling with its heart on its sleeve and hat and boots with never a wink to the crowd in the theater to say "ain't these people quaint". You either buy in or you don't. If you do, like I did, you're in for a hell of a ride.

This, I feel, is the flip-side to The Dark Knight. Good and evil are trapped in something akin to a battle and an embrace in Nolan's Gotham City. You root for Batman, but he does stuff that is on the wrong side of freedom and civil rights. The Joker is pure crazy, but he's the most mesmerizing character in the film. In Australia, there are good guys and bad guys and you are either really good or twirl your mustache evil. The main villain actually may be a bit too two-dimensional in that aspect, but it didn't hurt my overall enjoyment.

Why? Well, epic melodrama is hard to pull off...I'm talking about the real stuff here.
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132 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says they don't make em like they used to? February 4, 2009
I was looking forward to seeing this movie when it was release late last year given all the hype, and was not dissappointed!

Director, Baz Luhman, has served up a slab of nostalgia ala Australian style with all those beautiful elements we love from films of the 40's and 50's, breathtaking, sweeping landscapes, gorgeous costumes and two fine actors in Kidman and Jackman who get the essence of the film. It nostalgia in every sense of the word, in every frame. The acting style reminds us of Bogart, Grant, Bacall and Dunne. The story is epic in every way and just lovely. I loved the salute to "The Wizard of Oz"a really nice touch!

Of course we all know how it's going to end. Watching Australia was like eating a box of Quality Street chocolates. Sure I know what I'm getting, but I still love it.

For those of you who want to spend a few hours (and I mean a few; it's almost 3 hours) being completely entertained then thisis the movie for you. I only wished they had inserted an interval on it's theatrical release and made the whole event at the movies a real nostalgic experience.

I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't like this movie, unless you just aren't up for a feel good picture. I want to see more movies being made like this!!!! Well done to all!!!
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly mediocre with hints of greatness February 18, 2009
I know what Baz Luhrmann was attemting to accomplish with Australia. He even hinted at it himself with regards to Gone With The Wind. He wanted a glorious epic of mass proportions but what he really created was a long, beautiful, but sometimes dull film. He strived for perfection but clearly didn't quite make it.

I am a HUGE fan of Moulin Rouge. I love everything about it-the music, the acting, the costumes and the story. I can see some of that shining through in Australia as well. The beautiful array of colors, just splendid choreography and direction, there is no question about that. The problem lies with the script and the plot.

This movie did not need to be over 3 hours long. I do not mind sitting through a film that long- I have done plenty of times before. But there were obvious parts that just dragged and some that were not necessary at all. The parts with the cattle drive were especially tedious, and that was most of the film...

The 'magic' aspect didn't really fit into this. It worked in Moulin Rouge but for obvious reasons. This to me, is more of a serious film with serious issues. Stealing aborigines children and removing them from their home is something that should have been the main aspect of the plot. But it was muddled along with the other, less important subplots. Of course there is a bad guy-nicely played by David Wenham, and a hero-Hugh Jackman.

Jackman is the true gem in this film. He carries basically the entire film and at least makes it more interesting to watch. Nicole Kidman, usually a huge favorite of mine, seemed somewhat lost in this. She appeared to overdo most of her lines and while she looked lovely in her part, it just didn't suit her all that well. I was a bit surprised at that.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love
Watch it at least once every three months or so. Love Jackman
Published 23 hours ago by Anna Dunn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My girl friend loves it.
Published 5 days ago by Chris Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this movie. I'm glad I bought it.
Published 5 days ago by Lucy F. Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderfully epic movie!!
Published 7 days ago by Angie
5.0 out of 5 stars great picture
bought for my wife, great blu ray picture.
Published 8 days ago by J. E. Paul
1.0 out of 5 stars Although the submission said that the access was good for 30 days
Watched only half the movie, and then had to leave. Although the submission said that the access was good for 30 days, there was no clear way to resume viewing of the movie. Read more
Published 9 days ago by George Schmidt
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie
Just what I expected. Great!
Published 16 days ago by Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie. Educates people about war and prejudice in ...
Great movie. Educates people about war and prejudice in Australia and how poorly aborigines were treated and racism against them even in last century.
Published 18 days ago by Frequent buyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great flick
Published 19 days ago by Cindy McCadden
5.0 out of 5 stars Australia movie review
The Blue-ray disk arrived ahead of schedule and in good order. I really liked the movie and wanted to have it in my library. I can recommend this movie to anyone over 18.
Published 1 month ago by Big Bird II
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Topic From this Discussion
Soundtrack to Australia coming out?
There is a release of music from the Movie. Saw it on Itunes. And on Gracenote listed under "Australia OPMS". It only has these songs on it:
By the Boab Tree 3:42 Ophelia of the Spirits
The Drover's Ballad 4:24 Elton John
You Ride Your Way and I'll Ride Mine 2:04 Rolf Harris
All... Read More
Mar 15, 2009 by YetiBigs |  See all 6 posts
Australia in Blu-Ray issues
You could need a software update for your samsung player. Just a thought. I recently couldn't play the new James Bond flick until i decided to check for updates on my playstation 3. Worked like a champ! Good luck.
Apr 28, 2009 by J. Owen |  See all 11 posts
Yes Spanish and French, too
Subbed in Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Portuguese believe it or not.
Mar 3, 2009 by Nicholas M. Accardi |  See all 2 posts
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