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Australia (2008)

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2:13 | Trailer
Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.

Director:

Baz Luhrmann

Writers:

Stuart Beattie (screenplay), Baz Luhrmann (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
3,674 ( 397)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 35 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shea Adams Shea Adams ... Carney Boy #3
Eddie Baroo ... Bull
Ray Barrett ... Ramsden
Tony Barry ... Sergeant Callahan
Jamal Sydney Bednarz Jamal Sydney Bednarz ... Mission Boy (as Jamal Bednarz-Metallah)
Damian Bradford Damian Bradford ... Constable #1
Bryan Brown ... King Carney
Nathin Butler ... Carney Boy #1
Tara Carpenter Tara Carpenter ... Essential Services Woman
Rebecca Chatfield Rebecca Chatfield ... Magarri's Niece
Lillian Crombie Lillian Crombie ... Bandy Legs
Max Cullen ... Old Drunk
Essie Davis ... Cath Carney
Arthur Dignam Arthur Dignam ... Father Benedict
Michelle Dyzla Michelle Dyzla ... Hairdresser
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Storyline

In northern Australia at the beginning of World War II, an English aristocrat inherits a cattle station the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality, and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Australia | USA

Release Date:

26 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Australia See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,800,723, 30 November 2008

Gross USA:

$49,554,002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$211,368,784
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Over 1,500 wild horses were used for this movie. Four different horses played the Drover's horse. See more »

Goofs

The Zeros did not carry bombs, they carried Auxiliary or drop tanks for long range missions, in the Movie they showed the Zeros dropping the tanks as bombs. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Nullah: My grandfather, King George, he take'em me walkabout, teach me black fella way. Grandfather teach'em me most important lesson of all. Tell'em story. That day I down the billabong. King George, he teach me how to catch'em fish using magic song. See, I not black fella. I not white fella either. Them white fellas call me mixed-blood, half-caste, creamy. I belong to no one.
King George: That day I see'em them white fellas. They were pushing them cheeky bulls across the river onto Carney land.
Nullah: [...]
See more »

Connections

References Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

You Ride Your Way, I'll Ride Mine
Music by Felix Meagher & Baz Luhrmann
Lyrics by Baz Luhrmann, Felix Meagher, Angela Little & Schuyler Weiss
Performed by Bill Risby & The Lawnmowers featuring Rolf Harris & Ted Egan
Produced by Baz Luhrmann (as BLAM), Anton Monsted (as BLAM), & Felix Meagher, additional Production and Mixed by Eden Martin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Old-style epic romantic movie
22 February 2011 | by ImdbidiaSee all my reviews

An entertaining romantic drama by Buz Luhrmann, old-Hollywood style.

The movie is set in the Northern Territory of Australia in the years previous to the involvement of Japan in the WW II, and tells the story of Sarah Ashley -an English lady who goes to Australia to try to get her husband back to England and ends becoming the head of their Australian cattle farm-, Drover -an independent free-spirited cattle and horse drover that works for her- and Nullah -a half-caste Aboriginal child who lives in the farm and struggles to live in a world in which he's alien to both blacks and whites.

This is one of those movies that you can say it is done as the movies of the golden era of Hollywood used to be - flashy wonderfully well-looking movie stars, great scenery and great studio settings, detailed recreation of the era's fashion, decoration, atmosphere, etc., , and a simple epic plot with a great love story. Australia has all of this, but also a little bit of corn, a thin plot, weak characters and flaws that are even more noticeable in a super-production like this.

The script is uneven and Manichean (with angels and demons) and mixes several movie genres (romantic comedy, romantic drama, war movie, western movie, and Aboriginal movie) with different degrees of success. The characters are descriptive and without emotional depth, and that affects the acting. However, I loved the depiction of the magic and wisdom of Aboriginal Australians, which is really well presented, with its magic beliefs and philosophical and environmental approach to the world. I think that part is truly genuine and real and reaches the viewer. I also loved that Lady Ashley's character is the one of a true modern woman, as she is a strong-willed free woman, a boss, the boss of her man, a woman who always leads, never submissive or afraid of being alone if she doesn't get what she wants. That's a post-modern woman, so rare to see in cinema nowadays.

The acting is unconvincing on the part of the leading actors. Hugh Jackman's performance is just OK in his role, while Nicole Kidman disappoints in the comic part of the movie, as she seems not to relax when she does so, but she warms up to her usual self when the story becomes more dramatic; she looks beautiful in this movie, like a 50s movie star, although those inflated siliconed lips were a distraction... Jackman and Kidman make a great couple, but their chemistry on camera was nothing memorable and you see yourself seeing two actors playing a couple, not a real couple on screen.

Most supporting actors are good in their roles, especially the Aboriginal ones, who really shine in this film. David Gulpilil is simply terrific, completely believable and inspired in his role of the Aboriginal Elder King George. Brandon Walters, despite his youth, offers a memorable performance, and his face really lights up the screen. Also great is the actor who plays Drove's Aboriginal pal, who also offers a solid performance. They are the ones who really give soul to the movie.

Despite what you might expect, the cinematography is poor. I was expecting the rare beauty of the Northern Territory to be captured by the always stylish and colorful Luhrmann. However, the part of the movie that happens during the dry season is completely opaque and colorless, ugly to watch, while the scenes happening during the rainy season are again limited in colors.To my disenchantment, many of the most colorful and beautiful scenes are digitally created or enhanced, while others seem to have been shot in big studios. Just the Mission island seems to convey that luxurious real feeling of the NT vegetation. Some of the most beautiful bits of the real land, the aerial vistas, look like if they had been taken for a documentary for National Geographic. Where is the emotional connection of the story with the land? In other words, the viewer doesn't go beyond what the eyes see. So, one wonders, why the movie was called Australia and why it was sold as a movie that captured the spirit of this country. To be honest, I thought that most scenes in the movie could have been shot anywhere in the world not in Australia.

The movie is a little too long. Most of the first half an hour could have been removed , condensed or presented in another way to give the non-Aboriginal characters more emotional background and depth. For example, we barely know why Neil Fletcher wants so badly Sarah's farm, and why he's so wicked in general but he loves a lovable sweet good- hearted woman. He is just an archetypal bad-guy, period.

Despite its flaws, I enjoyed the movie, especially the second hour and a half, and that heaven of a man that is Hugh Jackman. God Bless him and his holy body.


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