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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!!!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great period love story set in 1939 with a touch of adventure. Strong yet nurturing woman lead as she protected an orphaned biracial aboriginal child, subject to the harsh,... Read morePublished 8 days ago by L. S. Sykes
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