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

November 18, 2008 | 10:30 am

Australia_hugh_jackman

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


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