Australia

Australia

Australia

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.

2008Rating: M, for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language165 minsUSA, Australia

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Australia / Reviews

Flicks, Team

Flicks, Team

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.

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Variety

Variety

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.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

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

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Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald

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

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San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle

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.

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Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

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.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

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

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

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.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

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

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

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

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