As you know, when I killed the House Fairy, Hubby offered dinner and a movie. We ended up eating a late lunch and then going to see Australia! I love Australia. If I were rich enough, I would live on Maui. But if I weren’t, but was still super rich, I would summer in the United States and then summer in Australia. 🙂 I’d never see cold weather again.
So when this movie came out, he knew I’d want to see it. And, of course, I did.
Here are a few of my perceptions of the movie. WARNING THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS! Stop here if you haven’t seen the movie yet.
Someone really needs to feed Nicole Kidman. I am serious. She is tinier than the Aboriginal children she works with in this movie.
Some things about the production of this movie are a little odd. For instance:
Nicole Kidman’s character’s hair does not grow during the entire movie, nor does it seem to ever need washing even on a cattle drive.
Little Nullah does not age one bit during the entire movie. It’s hard to tell, but apparently it covers at least a two year period between 1939 and 1941. (The actor that plays Nullah should get an academy award. I am serious, this kid is good. He had me wanting to adopt him. He’s funny, smart, cute and talented.)
Hugh Jackman’s character has time to grow a full beard on a cattle run, but looks like he just got a hair cut.
In fact the only person in this movie who doesn’t appear to have just walked out of wardrobe is King George, and even he appears a little too clean for the Outback at times.
This movie seems to not know what it’s goal is. Is it a romance? Is it a war movie? Is it a movie about cattle rustling in Australia? Is it a political statement about the treatment of the Aboriginal people of Australia during the 1930s? The problem is that it doesn’t do all four well. It’s almost a love story, but we spend so much time away from Kidman and Jackman’s characters, Sarah and Drover, that we aren’t drawn into their story. The war scenes are incredible, but it seems to distract from the story, not add to the story line. The cattle drive is interesting, and the scenery awesome, but you are once again pulled from the romance. But my high school English teacher would have loved the foreshadowing that lead up to the climax of this scene. (Which also means this blog has gotten way to serious if I am using words like foreshadowing and climax in the same sentence in real life. 🙂 ) It’s like he had too much story to tell and too little time to tell it.
As a true romantic, I would have had her met Drover on the wharf after he saved the orphans. He would have had Nullah, she would have been about 3 months pregnant.
I’d also like to see more of their life after the war. Did they marry? Did they adopt little Nalluh? Did he stay with King George? Did they have children, despite the fact that she couldn’t? (Can we say sequel?)
Now you are probably thinking I didn’t like the movie. No, I loved it. Most love story movies have little for Hubby to enjoy. But in this one, he had cattle drives that had me covering my eyes. Blood and gore from the war scenes, which once again had me cringing. I could have done with more of Jackman and Kidman’s relationship. But what red blooded woman wouldn’t want to see more of Hugh Jackman’s bare back? I got to see their love story unfold and also the love story between Sarah and Nullah.
The scenery was beautiful, especially the scenes of the kangaroos jumping along with the truck (though even that was marred by a gunshot and a bloody windshield). All this was done to show us how dangerous the Australian landscape was and probably still is in some areas. It was to make us appreciate the hardships the people who lived there faced, especially the native Aboriginals. But the beautiful sweeping views of the landscape were definitely eye candy for someone who so wants to visit some day. Especially the scenes after the wet season.
I read that this movie’s producer was trying for a Gone With The Wind type movie, and he has succeeded. Often Nicole Kidman’s character, Sarah has that same stupid look on her face that is so like Scarlett O’Hara’s. And the sweeping scenes of the outback are reminiscent of the scenes of Atlanta. The bombing scenes are very reminiscent of the burning of Atlanta scenes. Even the constant running of The Wizard of Oz with Dorothy saying, “There’s no place like home…” is like Scarlett’s wanting to go to Tara. End the end though, Sarah does get her Faraway Downs, and unlike Scarlett O’Hara, she also gets the man.
All in all, it is a very well filmed movie. It is entertaining, suspenseful and fun. It’s long, but you don’t get that middle of the movie-how much longer feel that some movies can have. You wanted this couple to survive and you hated their enemies with a passion, that even they didn’t seem to possess. I wanted to stand up and cheer when King George killed Neil Fletcher. Not very Christian like of me, I know. 🙂
If you have hearing issues, though I’d wait for the DVD version. The dialog was hard to follow at times and closed captioning would have been welcomed.
It was a fun night out and I am glad we went. This movie is definitely going to win a lot of awards. They will be well deserved. The acting was superb, especially by many of the cast that were not well known names in Hollywood. I was sitting on the edge of my seat cheering them on one minute, laughing the next, covering my eyes the next. From the minute Sarah and Drover meet, you want them to get together. From the moment Nullah’s mom dies, you want Sarah to adopt him. Your heart breaks for poor King George who loses his daughter and almost his grandson in the movie and all he can do is watch.
I give this movie a 5 star. It left me wanting more, not only of the story line, but of Australia itself. I still want to go. I will settle this summer for teaching about it in Vacation Bible School, since our theme this year is about Australia. So until then, Good day Mate.