Australia

( 85 )

Overview

Set against the scenic backdrop of pre-World War II Australia, Baz Luhrmann's romantic period adventure stars Nicole Kidman as an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch, and Hugh Jackman as the rough-and-tumble cattle driver who helps protect her property from greedy English cattle barons. As the pair attempt to herd 2,000 head of cattle hundreds of miles across the treacherous Australian outback, they are stunned to bear witness to the bombing of Darwin by Japanese forces -- who just a few months ...
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Overview

Set against the scenic backdrop of pre-World War II Australia, Baz Luhrmann's romantic period adventure stars Nicole Kidman as an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch, and Hugh Jackman as the rough-and-tumble cattle driver who helps protect her property from greedy English cattle barons. As the pair attempt to herd 2,000 head of cattle hundreds of miles across the treacherous Australian outback, they are stunned to bear witness to the bombing of Darwin by Japanese forces -- who just a few months prior launched a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor.
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Special Features

Deleted scenes; Austrailia: The People, the History, the Location Featurettte; ; Behind-the-scenes featurettes: Photography, Production Design, Costume Design, Locations, Cinematography, Sound, Editing, Music and Visual Effects
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
It may interest readers to know that, for certain prominent movie databases, it is the official editorial position that the genre of "epic" be applied sparingly -- and almost never for new movies. This makes enough sense if you think about it: the great equalizer of CGI has changed the playing field, and there's no longer a feeling of grandness in the casts of thousands and exotic locales that once made movies like The Ten Commandments and Lawrence of Arabia live up to their classification. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's still a shame -- at least in the case of Baz Luhrmann's 2008 film Australia, which is, in the classic sense of the word, epic. An ode to Luhrmann's home country, Australia takes place during the early days of World War II -- a historical setting that, as in all good WWII movies, brews in the background until the third act, when stuff starts to blow up. The film opens with the prim and proper but very ballsy Lady Sarah Ashley Nicole Kidman defying all early-'40s conventions by ditching her aristocratic British estate to collect her skirt-chasing husband from a cattle station they own in the Australian outback. Said husband arranges to have the lady escorted from port to ranch by a cattle drover Hugh Jackman, who goes by the creative nickname Drover. The cavalier Aussie takes Lady Ashley on a three-day ride through the desert en route to the station, and of course along the way, he shocks her left and right with his rough-and-tumble style -- as well as his egalitarian attitude toward the native people, who live in your basic state of colonial impoverished subjugation. Sarah's journey gets more complicated after they arrive at the cattle station, but it would take way too long to explain the rest of the plot, as the film clocks in at over two and a half hours. Basically, there's an evil, monopolizing cattle company, a beautiful orphaned Aboriginal child, a massive cattle drive by a few ragtag wranglers, a world war, an island full of children in danger, and Hugh Jackman with his shirt off. And yes, somewhere along the way, Sarah and Drover teach each other how to love again. The opposites-attract premise may sound old and stale, but it works perfectly here, where a less tried-and-true romantic formula would have just been confusing amid the rest of the sweeping story -- which spans years. In fact, it should probably be said that one of the reasons Australia works so well is that the story at its core is simple and solid. The enormous scale of the film's vision is what pushes that simple story toward moments of greatness, but it could still survive on its own as a romantic drama if it had to. But it doesn't have to; Australia goes for the absolute limit in terms of scope. And let's not be coy -- size may not matter, but it still helps. The majesty of vast desert landscapes splaying out into the distant edges of the frame remind you every few minutes that this harsh, enigmatic, brutally gorgeous continent really is like nowhere else on earth. Luhrmann is also completely unabashed when it comes to weaving in themes about the tragically squandered beauty of Aboriginal culture. He dives headlong into his celebration of Australia's native peoples -- complete with their strange singing, their half-nakedness, and any other attribute likely to sit uneasily with cigar-chomping studio execs and corn-fed test audiences. And his commitment to the theme pays off -- even when that skinny elder tribesman pops up out of nowhere like Jim Morrison's imaginary Indian in Oliver Stone's The Doors, you're still totally on board, still believing in the magic, and still paying attention after 160 very epic minutes.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/3/2009
  • UPC: 024543563853
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20Th Century Fox
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Fran├žais
  • Time: 2:45:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 15,189

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nicole Kidman Lady Sarah Ashley
Hugh Jackman Drover, The Drover
David Wenham Neil Fletcher
Bryan Brown King Carney
Jack Thompson Kipling Flynn
David Gulpilil King George
Brandon Walters Nullah
David Ngoombujarra Magarri
Ben Mendelsohn Captain Dutton
Barry Otto Administrator Allsop
Kerry Walker Myrtle Allsop
Sandy Gore Gloria Carney
Ursula Yovich Daisy
Lillian Crombie Bandy Legs
Yuen Wah Sing Song
Angus Pilakui Goolaj
Jacek Koman Ivan
Tony Barry Sergeant Callahan
Roy Barrett Administrator Allsop
Max Cullen Old Drunk
Shea Adams Carney boy 3
Eddie Baroo Bull
Technical Credits
Baz Luhrmann Director, Original Story, Producer, Screenwriter
Nikki Barrett Casting
Stuart Beattie Screenwriter
G. Mac Brown Producer
Brian Cox Special Effects Supervisor
Dody Dorn Editor
Richard Flanagan Screenwriter
Ronald Harwood Screenwriter
David Hirschfelder Score Composer
Catherine Knapman Producer
Ronna Kress Casting
Catherine Martin Co-producer, Costumes/Costume Designer, Production Designer
Michael McCusker Editor
Karen Murphy Art Director
Francesco Nardi Makeup
Libby Sharpe Production Manager
Jen Stanfield Makeup
Alexandra Taussig Production Manager
Mandy Walker Cinematographer
Paul Watters Associate Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 85 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(55)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 85 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    AMAZING!!!!!!!

    My friends and i loved this movie! It is very informatiive but has some humor for the teen age! I would reccomend for everyone!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    More than a love story

    As a Nicole Kidman fan I watched the film just to see her. I had no idea I would be drawn in to this beautiful story of love and sacrifice. The performances were superb, but the scenery was breathtaking. There is an important story about racism and the legacies of colonial exploitation that many people don't want to confront. I truly believe negative reviews are from people who are unprepared to face the ugliness of war and the exploitation and displacement of indigenous people throughout the world. This movie is a great educational tool for high school and college students exploring culture and world history.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Australia

    I have shared this movie with several friends and each of them enjoyed it as much as I did. It reminds us of an old-time western movie with the stampedes, ranches, saloons, etc. This is one great movie and has an excellent plot. The acting is tremendous.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    After a Slow Start, AUSTRALIA is Excellent

    Baz Luhrmann needed to re-think his overly long epic of life in Australia during WW II: The first hour of this 165 minute film comes across as caricature with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman being introduced as rather overblown, preposterous characters about whom the audience could care less. But then suddenly the mood changes, the film becomes tender and real and issues of importance are treated well and presto! - an entirely different film is on the screen. It would be interesting to see this film edited by a major editor who could comb away the extraneous silliness of the beginning and make this film far more dramatic and solid.

    Though the film begins in 1939 and continues into 1941, it feels like an old American Western flick with cattle drives, and rancher disputes and the development of a classy Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) from England traveling to her husband's ranch in Australia to face the failing of her inheritance, becoming involved with the politics of her competitor, finding support from her household of Aborigines who manage her ranch with the able assistance of a rowdy Drover (Hugh Jackman). One important key element in the film is the emphasis on half breed children (half Aborigine, half Caucasian) who are called creamies and who are shunned by both sides of their inherited genes. One lad Nullah (Brandon Walter) feels he has no one who cares for him outside of a kindly spirit grandfather King George (David Gulpilil) who gives him support from the shadows of the hills of the Aboriginal land. The interesting part of the film is the manner in which this young boy pulls the other characters together, even during the Japanese invasion in 1941. At this point the film becomes an epic worth watching and one accompanied by warmth and tenderness as evil is destroyed and the milk of human kindness rises.

    Once out of their caricature beginnings, Kidman and Jackman (and Walter) give fine performances. They are aided by some fine effects from cinematographer Mandy Walker and by a musical score by David Hirschfelder that mixes excerpts from 'Somewhere over the rainbow' with Bach's Hunt cantata BWV 208 ('Sheep may safely graze') and of course the wondrously emotional Nimrod from Elgar's 'Enigma Variations'. There are elements of information about racism and greed that are treated well. And by the time this lengthy film is over the audience is left satisfied. So 5 stars for the second part of this movie and 2 - 3 stars for the first hour gives if a 4 star overall rating. Grady Harp

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    WOW

    now i know that this movie did not go over well with alot of people. I thought it was an amazing movie that truly touch my heart. I personaly liike long movies that continue to go on when most movie wrap up. it like when you go to see a movie that you really like and when its over you wounder what happens next well this is that movie. I think every one should have an open mind to this movie and enjoy it. Nicole did an amazing job and i just love her!!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A True Film for Everybody

    This film really took every genre available out there and combined them into one beautiful and original film. Baz Luhrman has always been a genius for the way he creates characters and settings as well as soundtracks and storylines, (take Moulin Rouge for example)and this film is no different. Not only do we get the beautiful scenery, but we also get a teriffic and emotional love story, an incredible story about family, a war drama, a cowboy and frontier adventure, a comedy and a story that will just generally make you feel inspired and complete. It is a little bit long, but i would suggest just curling up on the couch and really savoring this movie because it is simply spectacular and is really one to not be forgotten.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Australia

    We saw it at the theatre and enjoyed the story, acting and scenery.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    just a really great movie!

    this movie is long - but it's one of those movies if you have the time, you should curl up on the sofa & enjoy! i watched the entire thing & didn't feel weary of the length, because its a great film, with a great cast, beautiful scenery, music & story. i would definitely recommend it! enjoy :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Unforgettable

    I heard of "Australia" a few months ago before it came to the theaters, but never got a chance to see it in theaters. But I rented it on DVD, and I'm so glad that I did! This film was truly inspirational and a must see for anyone who likes action, adventure, romance, comedy -- "Australia" has something for everyone. It was nearly three hours long, but the action never stopped; not for one moment was I bored or disinterested in the plot. Both Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman played excellent roles, and you can't help but fall in love with the child lead of the movie either. The movie offers an excellent and compelling plot and characters you can easily become emotionally invested in. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Loved It!

    I absolutely love this movie. I think it is a beautiful movie. Not only the local but the story itself. How "Mrs. Boss" goes from a cold, money hungry, uncaring witch to a woman desperate to keep her "child". The love story of Mrs. Boss and the Drover. Hugh Jackman is welcome at my house any time!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    New Favorite...

    I was so sad this movie didn't do better in the box office because it's a gem! I blame it on a sucky preview, the reason I didn't see it until it was almost out of the theater. I was so glad I got to see it on the big screen! It has everything! Great characters, I mean who knew Nicole Kidman could be so funny and endearing! I've always loved Hugh Jackman but after this... I want to marry the man! Oh and the little boy...what a find! Tons of action, laughs and yes, some romance! LOVED this movie, it is now part of my permanent collection and definitely would recommend. Top 10 in my movies of all time...!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Why!

    Why would these two wonderful actors want their names associated with this movie? They tried to make a wonderful sweeping epic and I wish it had gone that way - but it didn't. The script was disjointed, hard to understand. There were two plots in one movie and neither one was developed well enough to be even one movie. I love Australia and I so wanted the movie to be a hit. Not so however. Perhaps next time.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A new epic film

    Very enjoyable. Romance, adventure and beautiful scenery. An excellent movie.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    ugh!

    I'd rather go outside and pick weeds for 3 hours than watch this overblown melodrama again.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2012

    Ok a bit slow and draggy in the beginning, but well worth watching all the way through!

    This is a brilliantly executed story about true happenings in Australia including the ‘missionary work’ ~ you know the lies told justifying one’s cruelty, racism, horrible acts by saying one is doing God’s work which among other things was until 1973 the forcible abduction and removal of Aborigine Children from their families and homes by the ignorant ruling class of Australia; life in Australia for all in pre World War II; language, traditions and growing up as an Aborigine after whites displaced the natives.

    The movie is a bit slow in the beginning, but it does pull through at the end, though without giving away spoilers, it does uncourageously still make the religious look ‘good, heroic’ like their willing participation and possibly instigation of ‘saving the heathens souls’ by stealing as many native children from their families and homes and imprisoning them in mission schools could in ANY lifetime be considered good work, or the choice of an ‘intelligent, benevolent, all-knowing being.’

    Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman seemed a bit stiff in their roles for the first half of the movie, but did great the second half.

    Hats off to David Wenham who did a brilliant job as a hateful, cruel character, I still want to beat the #!%# out of him.

    All the aborigine actors did a beautiful job of telling a story from that character's point of view: the woman raped by any white man who felt inclined; the young boy, Nullah who's father was a white ignoramous; the tracker enslaved to the whites; the shaman; and the brother and friend of Hugh Jackman's character. Brilliantly telling the story of what it was like to be in one's homeland that had been stolen by the white settlers.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun

    Fun, but with a nessage about the aboriginal's treatment. A very good view with tons of likeable characters. The countryside is really the star, can't really imagine why the director didn't do some sweeping panoramas or concentrate more on Australia's unique wildlife. A really good movie, but lots of missed opportunities to make a great movie.

    Does he evil white man thing Hollywood loves so much, but once you get past that, lots of fun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Nicole does it again

    Although not necessarily great in ALL of her roles, Nicole Kidman hit the mark for me in this movie. It was different too! Looking at some WWII events from the viewpoint of Australia for a change was fascinating and, being less familiar to me, it kept me in rapt attention. The scenery of outback Australia was awesome, and cinematography captivating and the performances were really quite remarkable from the stars to the least of the supporting cast members. I really enjoyed the movie as both intellectually interesting and as escapism. Good action without being either overly gory or unrealistically without such. It was just really GOOD!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    A New Favorite

    I was not a Kidman huge fan, and I thought this was just a love story. It is, but it is so much more. The little boy is an incredible actor. This movie is in incredibly emotional at so many turns, and i think it made me cry at no less than 8 scenes. The direction is wonderful. I can't say enough good about it. IT's one of my new favorites.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    very disappointing

    One of the worst movies i've tried to watch. couldn't follow the
    language, no mentionable action, give up on it before the finish.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Australia

    The movie, I am unsure about ratings of this movie. I purchased it for a gift for someoe else.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 85 Customer Reviews