Director: Baz Luhrmann
Runtime: 165 Min.
Plot: (from IMDB) In northern Australia at the beginning of World War II, an English aristocrat inherits a cattle station the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man 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, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier.
My Opinion: After the sheer amount of hype that surrounded the release of this movie over here, I felt I had to do my patriotic duty and go and see this film. Of course I went right before it was leaving theaters, and I went with my family.
It was okay! I heard so many mixed reviews that I was a bit wary, but all in all it was good. Nothing O M G Amazing, that's for sure; but the cinimatography is good. Location breathtaking, the story is okay and acting good!
This review by SBS is not only entertaining but encompasses mostly what I felt walking away from the movie too.
A noteable quote being: "For a story that focuses on feuding beef barons, Australia features an awful lot of ham." I'd also add its fair share of cheese too.
It's a long movie; but unlike most other long movies I've seen in theaters, it doesn't feel long. The plot moves along quickly (at times too quickly) and although I do see where some people complained about having two movies in one; I thought it flowed nicely.
When discussing the film with my family afterwards, my brother hit upon two interesting points.
#1. He thought my family (being American/Australians) were the ideal target audience; because we were Australian enough to know the references and jokes (he and I bought started laughing when we heard the wobble-board, not five minutes into the film); this is NOT a "Western film", this is Australia not America.
But we're also American enough to understand the over-the-top Hollywood-ization such as that cattle stampede. I mean really. Oh. Also the fact that in all of those oh my gawd breathtaking views of the North with the dust and plains there was not. one. fly.
#2. He thought the film would have been better as a TV Series rather then a blockbuster, over-long movie. Which is a decent argument; there were at least three different acts.
However Baz would probably never do something like that, certainly Nicole or Hugh would sign up for that. But it is an interesting story; touching on so many different notes (The bombing of Darwin, the treatment of Aborigines and half-casts, Australian farm-life) that being able to string it out into lots of little stories rather then one big movie would have been nice.
So all in all, I liked it. I felt it was money well spent to see, although it's nowhere near the Hollywood Great it was hyped to be.
In particular I loved Brandon Walters who played the young boy Nullah. Such a gorgeous, gorgeous boy!
Oh, Hugh Jackman too, in particular that we never learn his real name; everyone just refers to him as "Boss" or "The Drover." He's a sexy, sexy man!
And he can throw around those cliche Australianisms like Steve Irwin would be proud! But really now... who says in all seriousness to "shut your damper hole"?