Australian site Watoday has the first review of highly awaited Baz Luhrmann‘s epic adventure “Australia” which stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.
“…The anxiously anticipated 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 (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).
Blended into the tale is the touching story of a little boy of mixed blood, who serves as a symbol for the stolen generations and racism.
The film is fine, and never boring but, boy, is it overlong. At a mammoth 165 minutes it feels too much like a work-in-progress. There is a lot of narrative flab and longueurs in the first two hours and the film often has the pace of a steamroller with engine trouble.
Luhrmann also seems so eager to trowel on the Aussie cliches – obviously to appeal to the tourist markets! – that Australia is often simply irritating. The word “crikey” is spouted so often the film often sounds like a tribute to Steve Irwin.
As for the visuals, the film is pretty – you cannot point a camera at the outback and not get something impressive – but there are only so many wide shots of the Aussie outback that the human mind can stand…”
Read full story at watoday.com.au“Australia” is scheduled to hit US theaters on November 26, 2008.