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This movie deserves better than it got at the hands of critics. Nicole Kidman beautifully stars as Lady Sara Ashley, who journeys from England to Australia in 1939 to check up on her wayward husband, Maitland Ashley, who has established a cattle ranch there, Faraway Downs.
To take her to the ranch is Drover (Hugh Jackman), who drives a filthy truck with all of her prim and proper suitcases. They instantly have one misunderstanding after another. But when Lady Sara arrives at the ranch, she is in for a shock. Her husband has been killed, the cattle are being pilfered away by rival cattlemen Fletcher and King Carney, and the Aborigine people are weird. She needs Drover to drive the cattle to Darwin to earn the money to clear the debt of the ranch and to be able to sell it and go back to England.
But wait!! There is a darling half-caste Aborigine boy, Nullah, played by Brandon Walters at Faraway Downs, whose mother dies while they are being tracked by police. And Lady Ashley now finds herself unwillingly at first becoming the boy's mother. He's not hard to love either. The turning point comes when she starts to tell him the story of "The Wizard of Oz."
Another major character is King George, Nullah's Aborigine grandfather, who uses magic somewhat like voodoo to save the day many times.
Beautifully photographed, this movie has a dirty, dangerous cattle drive, switches to a beautiful, romantic tale between the legendary Drover and Lady Ashley, and then finally ends up with the black, smoky invasion by Japanese troops in Darwin, Australia right after Pearl Harbor. It also switches from a comedy to a western to a love story to a fight for survival.
You may need patience with "Australia." It starts slowly, but really picks up quickly. My advice is to turn on the English subtitles, or you will have trouble dealing with the Australian lingo such as Billabug, crikey, Majaari, Jedi, Bandy. There are also a lot of characters to keep up with, and a plot that stretches almost 3 hours but goes quickly after the very first part is over.
AUSTRALIA Starring NICOLE KIDMAN & HUGH JACKMAN is a Fantastic EPIC FILM. This Film is did Not Get the Proper attention it truly deserved in the U.S. as a work which not only delights the senses, but also as touches the heart in gripping ways, which would bring even the most stoic ogre to tears. AUSTRALIA is also a Lesson in world History, that includes the attack on Mission Island as well as the mainland of Australia during World War II, when it came under attack for the first time in its history. Somehow we tend to forget that Australia suffered heavy war casualties like so many other countries during the war. This great film also teaches us about the Australian Culture in terms of class divisions, and the racism that once existed, especially in terms of the Indigenous Aboriginal Australians. The character of "King George" an Australian native Aborigine is the Spirit behind much of "Australia," which is one of Integrity and Honor. The importance of the Cattle industry in Australia, and the corruption that once existed there within it, are also well exposed. The movie ties together history, culture, love of family and of country, incredible character development, and a classic work that will keep you on the edge of your seat with a box of tissues, and also to feel tremendous trepidation, as well as elation in your heart at many moments. And let's give due credit to NICOLE KIDMAN; not only is she one of the Most Gorgeous women on the face of this planet, and a delight to watch, but she is intelligent, poised, fearless and powerful. Men, you will find yourself wishing you were Hugh Jackman, time and time again when you watch this film. Not only is he macho-strong and cool, and a real man, but he's also sensitive enough to get the best prize - Nicole Kidman who is fondly referred to in the wonderful film as "Mrs. Boss." If you miss this film, you are missing alot !
Australia is a great combination of drama, romance, and historical content, with a touch of action. Characters were selected perfectly and performances were superb. I watched an interview with Nicole Kidman who stated that she was not happy with her performance in Australia. Although she never felt she was able to connect with her character as she would have liked, I don't believe that disconnect was obvious from a viewer's perception.
The story was creative and informative of native ways and I especially enjoyed the relationship between wealthy Brit and low-maintenance drover. Being a people-watcher with a degree in Psychology the culture, history, and social connect was appealing to me. The movie is fairly long and the first time you watch it you think it's going to end 5 times. Each time an ending would make sense and would not detract from the purposefulness of the movie. That is hard to find.
The main theme of the movie, to me, is the sociocultural need and fulfillment the human race gets from others of the human race. It highlights how humans have the innate desire to love others regardless of differences as well as the ability to hate and destroy when a human soul found empty and dark due to selfishness and self-hate.
I only purchase movies if they have a theme or story that exhibits a strong moral. I purchased this movie on Blu-ray.
I loved the setting, pre WWII and early WWII in the outback of Australia. The cinematography on the epic Australian film was amazing, The story line was heart grabbing and held you to the very end. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman were perfectly cast as a rich & proper English lady who came to the Outback to "straighten out" her late husband's cattle ranch. Hugh Jackman was the wild Rover who was hired to help her accomplish a cattledrive across the rugged outback to sell cattle to the army. Another cattle Baron is determined to thwart their drive thus keeping his cattle monopoly with the army. Japan's aerial bombing of Syndey Harbor and the ensuing hardships make this a movie to see.
More often than not, I find myself agreeing with many critics of movies. This is one of those times I don't.
Also, there are very few movies the husband and I will enjoy together. This is another one of those times.
This is a war movie, a western, a romance, a comedy and a drama. All these elements are seamlessly woven in to bring us an epic that most everyone will find something they enjoy.
Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are exceptional actors. Putting the two of them together electrified the movie even more. They have wonderful chemistry.
This is a beautiful movie and even more so on blu-ray. I can't say enough about how fantastic it is to watch and hear.
All of this makes for a great viewing experience.
In 1939, the aristocratic Lady Sarah Ashley travels from Great Britain to Australia to meet her husband Maitland Ashley in northern Australia. The husband's drover comes to the city of Darwin to bring Sarah to their farm; however, when they reach Faraway Downs Farm, they find that Maitland was murdered. Sarah befriends Nullah, who tells her that the administrator Neil Fletcher is stealing her cattle; has killed her husband; and is working for the cattle baron King Carney. Sarah fires Fletcher and his men and together with Drover, Nullah and a group of loyal employees, they ride together to take the cattle to supply the army and win a tender in times of war. But the ambitious Fletcher has other intentions and uses Nullah to press Sarah.
One of the best movies I think Nicole Kidman has made..
LOVE this Movieeeeee. A must for your DVD collection......
Not caring much for Nicole Kidman as an actress, and also being somewhat ignorant of the acting skills of Hugh Jackman, I was in a quite negative state of min when I saw this movie the first time. But, the excellent performances turned in by Kidman and Jackman, along with the gorgeous locations, makes this up there with great cinematic classics like "Gone with the Wind", in my opinion.
The story is wonderful, full of courage and scoundrels, and is one the few movies I have actually been able to say I learned things I didn't know before.
A fine family movie as well.
For anyone who is a WW II buff like myself, this film is absolutely stunning and gorgeous. The costumes are period accurate, and according to my best Aussie friend, the setting is entirely accurate, especially with the troubles that were occurring with the Aboriginees at that time. The movie is a mix of classic films, connected within it an all-time classic 'Wizard of Oz', as well as the action/adventure and unappologetic look at the War itself.
This is a fast-moving flick with a strong story line, wonderful actors, humor, drama and action aplenty set in the vibrant, rich expanse of of the continent of Australia. Rated-PG 13 primarily for limited violence and a little strong language, this is a movie I would gladly recommend to most families with children over about the age of eight or so.
Along with an exciting feel-good movie, important historical issues and the strength of a beautiful culture are sure to spark worthwhile discussion. This movie will surely remain a family favorite of ours for years to come.
This is a wonderful movie. It is an epic about Austalia in the World War 11 era.
It has action and romance. The photography is excellent. Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are naturals in it...since they're both from Australia.