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Mpls, MN, United States

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Hopefully it's not presumptuous to post this before I actually receive the results of my French final; I am not brokenhearted about my performance or prospects, however, although I am pretty sure I was not correct in "translating" that Louis Pasteur used indigo to stop fermentation in silk worms.

So, on to Australia!

I hadn't seen any previews for this film, so I wasn't sure what to expect, although the reviews I'd encountered had been generally positive. For me, though, it was sufficient that it was (a) Hugh Jackman, (b) Nicole Kidman, and (c) Baz Luhrman. Luhrman's whimsical streak and eye for ridiculously colorful, artistically-staged shots, along with a cast of amazingly attractive actors, made this a very, very pretty film. What kept it from being unbearably saccharine or laughable was their acting skill. Kidman and Jackman are predictably impressive (Luhrman seems to bring out a sort of loopy energy in Kidman that I find charming [as I do her impeccable tailoring], and though Jackman frankly wouldn't have had to say anything to charm me, when he does it's heartfelt and mostly believable), but what was really stunning was the debut performance of Brandon Walters, the film's young protagonist.

I had been warned that the film was three hours long, and when it seemed to be winding down, I was pleasantly surprised at how fast the time had gone. When I sneaked a look at my phone, however, and saw that we'd only been there for two hours, I did feel slightly disheartened--though I was still enjoying myself.

It really was too long, which was unfortunate. It was also a bit contrived and even a little cheesy, but not purely fluffy; it had a surprisingly emotional current and I did cry. Mostly because of the length, I don't feel compelled to go see this again immediately, which I generally do with my very favorite films. So Australia doesn't quite make my Classics list, but it was definitely worth the $5, and a highly enjoyable way to spend an evening. I actually would recommend seeing it on the big screen, even if it's in a few months when it hits the cheap seats, for the full experience of what feels like a revival of old Hollywood glamor (lots of nicely-lit close-ups and expanisve landscape shots) and the drama of classic westerns.


Pete Sleeper said...

What thorough review. I wasn't planning on seeing this on the big screen and now I'm sure I'll wait for the DVD.

Your writing style is delightful.

Karen said...


Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving break visiting Ellen! The two of you should carpool to Lincoln for a stay over XMAS. Happy Holidays, and I'll leave the light on for you.