Los Angeles Times - 11/26/2008
"AUSTRALIA is a postmodern blockbuster filtered through the very particular sensibility of Luhrmann....Luhrmann brings an unapologetically over-the-top and operatic aesthetic to the table."
New York Times - 11/26/2008
"[T]his creation story about modern Australia is a testament to movie love at its most devout, cinematic spectacle at its most extreme..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/05/2008
"[W]hat a gorgeous film, what strong performances, what exhilarating images and -- yes, what sweeping romantic melodrama. The kind of movie that is a movie, with all that word promises and implies."
Empire - 02/01/2009 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]hings slow down...allowing Luhrmann to show off his talent for stunning visuals, to flex new action muscles with a thrilling cattle stampede, and to set in motion the beguiling AFRICAN QUEEN-inspired romance..."
Total Film - 02/01/2009 3 stars out of 5 -- "[Kidman's] finest moments are a reminder that no major actress has done more consistent work in the past decade."
Hollywood Reporter - 11/20/2008
"The most expensive Australian film ever made is rousing and passionate....Kidman gives one of her most engaging performances..."
MOULIN ROUGE's Baz Luhrman and Nicole Kidman reteam for this epic that pays homage to their homeland. In AUSTRALIA, Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) is a prim and proper Englishwoman who journeys to Australia in the years before World War II reached the country's shores. She is determined to have her estranged husband sell his cattle ranch to a monopoly-craving businessman named King Carney (Bryan Brown), but when she arrives, Lord Ashley is dead, and her plan to sell the ranch changes when she sees an employee named Fletcher (David Wenham) cheating her husband's business and mistreating a young boy named Nullah (Brandon Walters) because he is of mixed race. Urged on by both pride and a sense of justice, Lady Ashley wants to drive her herd of cattle to Darwin so she can sell them to the troops, but she'll require the help of an independent cowboy (fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman) to get them there.
AUSTRALIA changes genres almost as much as Kidman's character changes from fantastic costume to fantastic costume (courtesy of Luhrman's wife and collaborator, Catherine Martin). The film begins as a fish-out-of-water comedy, then changes into a Western, then morphs into a romance, and it finishes as a World War II drama. But in this genre-bending epic, there's something for everyone, especially for fans of Jackman. The actor has rarely looked better, and there's plenty of opportunity for him to show that he can be an action star as well as a romantic lead in the mold of the Golden Age stars. The film itself harks back to classic Hollywood, at times resembling essentials such as GONE WITH THE WIND and THE AFRICAN QUEEN. And fans of THE WIZARD OF OZ will enjoy seeing how the beloved film works its way into AUSTRALIA's plot and score.
Description by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment:
Set in Australia on the brink of World War II, Lady Sarah Ashley, an English Aristocrat (Kidman), travels to the faraway continent where she has inherited a cattle ranch, owned by her late husband. When Australian cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn local known as The Drover (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. When tragedy strikes and Lady Sarah becomes unofficial guardian to a ?half-caste? boy, the unlikely couple must come to terms with a prejudiced society, dishonorable business associates and the impending arrival of the Japanese.
Theatrical Release |
World War II