review//AUSTRALIA

Looking for a sweeping, epic romance/adventure? Look no further than Baz Luhrman's Australia, a true old-fashioned Hollywood movie starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Luhrman, famous for his unique directing style in films like Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge, takes the rich, awe-inspiring Australian landscape, and adds a bit of history and a lot of drama, to create a true Australian masterpiece. Some critics are comparing the film to a modern-made Gone with the Wind and stating that the film will probably become that caliber of a film for Australia, much like Gone with the Wind is for the US.
I don't know if I'd state that its that great of movie. It was very enjoyable. The almost-3 hour runtime went by pretty quickly. And, the cinematography was pretty breathtaking. I'm sure it'll garner a large number of Oscar nominations, including a Best Picture nod, but I'm not sure it has enough clout to actually win most of the awards. The stars are both great, with Kidman giving one of her best performances since, probably, Cold Mountain. And Jackman, completely veering away from his Wolverine mould, does a great job of being the rugged Cowboy-like character. But, the show really goes to newcomer Brandon Walters, a native Aborigine, playing the young "cream" child that Kidman takes under her wing. 
Luhrman, who also wrote the script, does a great job of laying out the time and setting for the piece, in 1939, with great references to The Wizard of Oz and the plot-necessity bombings by the Japanese during World War II. And one of the best scenes comes when Kidman's character tries to remember the words to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to sing to the little boy. 
Though it's not quite the "best" movie of the year, so far, it does deliver as a solid film. Surprisingly funny at time, and overwhelmingly dramatic (with a few tears thrown in there), Australia delivers just what it promises in the trailer; a beautiful, epic motion picture, with big name stars, and brilliant visuals that will stay in my mind for a while.

Go see it. It's pretty long. But, you'll enjoy it. 

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