Review: AUSTRALIA

Lady Sarah Ashley: “Just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be.”
Set in World War II, AUSTRALIA is a long but intriguing epic. It stars Nicole Kidman as Lady Sarah Ashley, a widowed English aristocrat who inherits an enormous cattle station, and Hugh Jackman as Drover, her husband’s helper. The film, overall, seems historically accurate (i.e. the bombing of Darwin by the same Japanese forces that had bombed Pearl Harbor shortly before), and I liked how Baz Luhrmann, the director, decided to combine both war and romance into one film, as he did direct a few other romance films such as ROMEO + JULIET and MOULIN ROUGE!, but had no past experience with the war genre. I also liked the recurring reference to Judy Garland’s signature piece “Over the Rainbow”, as well as the film it was written for, THE WIZARD OF OZ. Overall, this was quite an enjoyable film. Like many other epics (to name a few: TITANIC, AVATAR, THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, GONE WITH THE WIND, etc.), it was significantly long, but it was never dull enough to give up on interesting its audience. So if you want a film that delivers consistent acting, decent cinematography, and a historical storyline, watch AUSTRALIA.
Lady Sarah Ashley: “Let’s go home.”
Drover: “There’s no place like it.”
GRADE: B

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