Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Not an easy to get engaged movie as what I call the first act (when Lady Sarah Ashley arrives to Australia from England) is not really attention grabber and is not until the second act (when they move the cattle) that things start to be interesting and the epic tale starts to grab your attention in crescendo until the climax and the end.

Directed and co written by Baz Luhrmann the movie tells a truly epic tale about an inheritance, a takeover complot, a true western genre look alike ride of 2,000 plus head of cattle over outstandingly beautiful landscape, a romance between the unlikely main characters, the couple’s bliss, WWII in Australia with the bombing of Darwin by Japanese forces (similar to Pearl Harbor) and most of all, the magic world of Australia’s aborigines, which for me was the most outstanding and enlighten side of the story.

As a movie is perhaps the most crowd pleaser and popular entertaining movie that Luhrmann has ever done and even if the movie is uneven, one particular part of the story will definitively move you. I’m referring to the parallel story about the appalling racial discrimination to mixed-race aboriginal children that it was not until 2008 that Australia’s government issued an official apology.

The movie narrator is a beautiful mixed-race aboriginal kid Nullah, played by Brandon Walters and it’s amazing the great performance this non-actor kid does up to the point that you will totally fall for him and his very expressive eyes. Also the romance between Lady Sarah (Nicole Kidman) and Drover (Hugh Jackman) has good chemistry and it does not bother at all to be watching two very handsome actors in the screen.

On the bad side some visual effects look too fake and there are some characters like the constant evil David Wenham that definitively are overacted. But this is a movie that belongs to Walters, Kidman and Jackman so it does not bother much. Then cinematography is good with some extraordinary sights of contrast full Australia. As a whole the movie is like one critic said and I reproduce because I find the image quite true “Australia provides a luxurious bumpy ride; like a Rolls-Royce on a rocky country road, it's full of bounces and lurches, but you can't really complain about the seat”.

The film has been collecting honors since premièred to top box office results in Sydney including Baz Lurhmann winning the Auteur Award, Brandon Walters winning the Outstanding New Talent at the 2008 Satellite Awards and Catherine Martin is nominated for Costume Design at the 2009 Oscar’s.

According to what I read not all viewers and critics’ liked the movie so I would not be surprised if some of you do not enjoy it, but I definitively had a good entertaining moment once the story picks up the pace.


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