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First Aussie reviews of 'Australia': 'Good, but no classic'

November 18, 2008 | 10:30 am


Our forums moderator and Emmy expert Rob Licuria, who lives in Sydney, Australia, sends us links to the first Aussie reviews of Baz Luhrmann's "Australia." (Thanks, mate!)

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: "Good, but no classic, and way, way too long," says the headline. The review adds, "'Australia' is not a bad film. But it's far from a great one, and certainly not one destined to be a classic.

"That's not to say it won't be popular, possibly wildly so. The film has broad appeal, particularly to the chick-flick market, with its sweeping, overlong melodramatic saga about cattle drives, the stolen generations, the bombing of Darwin and Hugh Jackman's abs. The story involves a prissy English woman Australia_pull_quote (Nicole Kidman) who, with the help of a stockman known enigmatically as "The Drover" (Jackman), tries saving her troubled cattle station from a greedy cattleman (Bryan Brown) and his evil relative (David Wenham)." READ MORE

THE AUSTRALIAN — This review is penned by David Stratton, who Rob calls "probably our best film critic." Stratton writes, "Like his earlier films 'Strictly Ballroom,' 'Romeo + Juliet' and 'Moulin Rouge,' 'Australia' shows Baz Luhrmann as a very theatrical director. He has a great eye for compositions and the film is beautifully shot . . . . The film is not without flaws, it's not the masterpiece that we were hoping for, but I think you could say that it's a very good film in many ways. While it will be very popular with many people, I think there's a slight air of disappointment after it all. But I will say that the acting is of a very high level, especially given that some of the actors have been encouraged to perform in this rather stylized, theatrical way. Nicole Kidman does a very good job as she develops from this very stiff, awkward, naive Englishwoman to become a really warm character at the end of the film . . . . Hugh Jackman has tremendous charisma and charm, and the supporting cast is particularly good." READ MORE

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: "Baz Luhrmann's hotly anticipated World War II epic treats the Australian Outback as if it were a monumental theatre. It doesn't let him down . . . . Kidman's screen presence is nothing short of radiant -- with plenty of help from the extraordinary quality of the light (natural and man made)." READ MORE

Photo: 20th Century Fox