Aug 20, 2012

Australia, 2008

Australia, 2008
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Shea Adams

Stage: Home TV selection. I am surprised. In a positive way

Australia in short: 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. 

Preps: I have seen this wonderful piece a while ago. I am so positively surprised that TV finally gets something decent on the run.

Reality: This is one of Luhrmann's masterpieces in terms of scenes, photos, picturesque feeling the viewer must have. So a definite must see if you are fond of nature and its wonders. The director did his best to show the lovely sight of Australia, and at the same time didn't forget to warn about its disadvantages. Aborigines, lack of water, weird customs, people, etc.
So how does a lady fit into this environment? To my perception, they couldn't have chosen more white or more lady-like character like Kidman. She's a complete misfit for these surroundings, yet in the development of the movie, she handles a lot of stuff that you wouldn't dream she could. A good guidance through the movie and good adaptivity of this woman. I admire Kidman for making strong drama where it's necessary and to drive the character in the depths that noone expected.
I would claim that most of the scenes are driven precisely, however not concisely. In other words, the movie could have been much shorter and some unnecessary stuff could have been taken out.
I really enjoyed the triumph after the gang drives the bulls on the ship. The little Nollah - the missionary boy, bedazzles me completely. His role as the narrator is really well equipped with original aborigin english. His yearning for a family and someone that loves him touches me deeply.
On the other hand, the love story between Kidman and Jackman is somehow lacking energy. the complete movie is set to the time where I doubt things could have been driven this way. At that time women unfortunately didn't have a  "vote" right, which means, I doubt that a woman could have pulled off such deeds as this woman does. So in this sense I would prefer for this movie to be more realistic. In the story, I mean.
Plus, there could have been some scenes that weren't so obvious taken in a studio. These things can be more discrete.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching a land I don't know much about and dream about travelling there, in that time and space. In some sense the red thin line in this one is finding your cause and fight for it. And like in a miracle, all the universal forces will join to help you. A bit ironic. Or naive. But still, I bought it for these three hours.

My personal rating: 7,0 (a really good solid piece, showing you the best and the worst of Australia at once. Photography is superb, scenography as well. Kidman shows her best manners and her well adaptivity).

Australia on IMDB

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