HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Australia There's No Place Like It
Year: 2008
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham, Bryan Brown, David Gulpilil, Brandon Walters, Jack Thompson, David Ngoombujarra, Essie Davis, Ben Mendelsohn, Barry Otto, Ray Barrett, Tony Barry, Arthur Dignam, Yuen Wah, Jacek Koman, Bill Hunter, Bruce Spence
Genre: Drama, War, Romance, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: World War Two may be breaking out in Europe, but in Australia life continues pretty much as normal, as it does for the half-white, half Aborigine Nullah (Brandon Walters), the illegitimate son of cattle herder Neil Fletcher (David Wenham), a man who wants nothing to do with him but have him rounded up with the rest of the native Australian children so they may be assimilated into white culture. Nullah has thus far managed to escape the law, and prefers to accompany his "magic man" grandfather King George (David Gulpilil) as he roams the Outback, but one day the boss of the farm, Lord Ashley, is murdered - could King George have committed the crime?

There's a lot of plot to get through with director Baz Luhrmann's Australia, a blatant attempt to hark back to old time movie epics with a Southern twist, in fact enough goes on here for about three storylines at least. This film even has a point about two-thirds of the way through where it would have sensibly been a good place to stop, but Luhrmann carried on with what some regarded as a grand cinematic folly to rope in the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese, apparently oblivious to the concerns that the audience may or may not have had enough by that stage. And yet that's the very reason that those who liked this were so passionate about it.

For others, they couldn't help but notice that the swooning romance at its heart was more the stuff of soap opera than solid gold classic, and came across as an "updating" of The African Queen relationship, certainly for its initial half where we get the lovers not seeing eye to eye. Those lovers were the wife of the deceased Lord Ashley, Sarah (Nicole Kidman), a prim and proper Englishwoman who veers dangerously close to parody as memories of Joyce Grenfell unwittingly surface, and the Lord's head cattle drover, known imaginatively as, er, Drover (Hugh Jackman), a plain-spoken slab of beefcake who has a sensitive side and abhors racism.

That last trait is important, because Luhrmann is intent on making up for the centuries of ill-treatment of the Aborigines at the hands of the whites. Little Nullah encapsulates the hopes of an entire nation when he symbolises the fruitful meeting of minds between the two races, which is too much for the character to bear, and the mysticism that follows him and his grandfather around appears to have strayed in from another film. But that's the tone of this, throw everything Australian that you can find at it in the hope that it will all cohere into a truly emotional experience - we even get Rolf Harris contributing his wobble board on the soundtrack, and there are a host of familiar Aussie faces in the cast, some in tiny roles.

There are allusions to a far earlier Austrailan film, The Overlanders, which also featured the war and a plot involving cattle herding, but that was not enough for this film as the journey of the livestock is paralleled with the journey in The Wizard of Oz, which includes a bizarre sequence where Sarah tries to explain that film to Nullah and halfheartedly sings "Over the Rainbow" to boot. Luhrmann is well-versed in his movies, which explains why this never convinces as a genuine tale, in spite of his efforts to plant it in actual historical events, as it feels too much like the gloss of the silver screen rather than gritty real life; it's even a little camp in places. Still, if Australia doesn't quite live up to its ambitions, you cannot fault it for trying, and if you have the stamina it does reward you with some glorious imagery. Music by David Hirschfelder.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4969 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Baz Luhrmann  (1962 - )

Australian writer and director with an ebullient, emotion-packed sensibility for his films. He started out in the business as an actor, appearing for a spell in his homeland's soap behemoth A Country Practice before the ballroom dancing experiences of his parents prompted him to create the stage play and later film Strictly Ballroom. The movie was an international success and took him to Hollywood where he reinvigorated Shakespeare for teenagers in Romeo + Juliet and fashioned a musical tragedy in Moulin Rouge!, which either swept you up in its swoons and glitter or gave you a splitting headache. With three big hits under his belt, Luhrmann turned back to his origins and would-be blockbuster Australia, but it was judged a disappointment. His long planned a version of The Great Gatsby was released to mixed response in 2013, but was one of his biggest hits regardless.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: