8 December 2008 @ 11:17Australia – review

AustraliaAustralia is one of those movies that I wanted to see ever since I saw the first trailer, but even so, it was still not at the top of my “to see” list. This weekend the decision of which movie to see came down to two options — I chose Australia, and I’m glad I did.

I really enjoyed both the epic story and the epic visuals that Baz Luhrmann provides the viewer in Australia. The story is about an English aristocrat that comes to Australia in an attempt to save a her husband’s ranch by driving cattle across northern Australia to the shipyard to be sold. After that endeavor, I expected the ending credits to start rolling, but instead, Luhrmann treats us to an even broader story involving the Japanese bombing of Darwin, Australia.

I was quite pleased with the path the story took, and most of the acting. Hugh Jackman delivered a great performance, but Nicole Kidman‘s performance was only mediocre. The most memorable character in Australia had to be Brandon Walters as Nullah, one of the outcast children of mixed White/Aboriginal descent.

Speaking of the outcast children, Australia points out the racial prejudice that many of the Aboriginal and the mixed descent Australians suffered during that era. It was presented in what I felt was an informative manner that didn’t come off as too preachy (although some people seem to disagree).

I do have one complaint with Australia though. There is one scene of obvious and not very well-done CGI. It’s the scene where the herd of cattle is stampeding toward the cliff. Both the cattle as well as the riders, Nulla and the alcoholic accountant, looked so obviously fake. It’s a shame that more attention (and money) wasn’t applied to this scene. Fortunately, this scene is far enough from the end that by the end you only barely remember this low point in the movie.

Australia is one movie that I would happily add to my movie collection.

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