Australia (2008) – 7/10 romantic epic movie review

Cast / crew
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer (Screenplay): Baz Luhrmann
Writer (Screenplay): Stuart Beattie
Writer (Screenplay): Ronald Harwood
Writer (Screenplay): Richard Flanagan
Writer (Story): Baz Luhrmann
Producer: Baz Luhrmann
Producer: G. Mac Brown
Producer: Catherine Knapman
Nicole Kidman: Lady Sarah Ashley
Hugh Jackman: Drover
David Wenham: Neil Fletcher
Bryan Brown: King Carney
Jack Thompson: Kipling Flynn
David Gulpilil: King George
Brandon Walters: Nullah
David Ngoombujarra: Magarri
Ben Mendelsohn: Captain Dutton
Essie Davis: Cath Carney

Australia (2008)

Certain that her husband is philandering, Lady Sarah Ashley travels to Australia to confront him and insist he sell their land and return home. When she arrives, her husband is murdered by a Aboriginal witch doctor and she learns that she cannot sell their cattle ranch Faraway Downs at a proper price due to the corrupt influence of cattle merchant King Carney. She determines to conclude her husband’s business and put the ranch back on its feet and needs the help of cattle drover, er, Drover to do so. Preferably without his shirt on.


Clearly aiming at Gone With the Wind stylistically, this is a highly watchable and entertaining movie, thoroughly captivating for the entirety of it’s running time. It boasts some terrific scenes ("ooh, kangaroo’s", all the cattle drove, Hugh Jackman with his shirt off) but it’s not entirely successful. It’s failure is evident in the utter lack of impact in the death scenes; you’re simply not all that invested in the characters. However, Jackman powers past this and really sells his big emotional scene and forces an emotional response from the audience that wasn’t there otherwise; he is one of the most convincing male actors when it comes to crying and conveying emotional distress. Every time he does it (in various movies), it carries real weight, has tremendous emotional impact and, unlike almost every other male actor, doesn’t appear silly or look like he’s laughing or forcing himself to pass wind while thinking about puppies being run over in front of burning orphanages.

This movie contains mild bad language, racially prejudiced language and unpleasant scenes and a sex scene.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.


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