The Critics: ‘Australia’

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  12.02.08 | 5:15 PM ET

imageWell, “Australia” may yet be the next big travel movie, but the cross-country-cattle-drive/war/romance epic certainly isn’t the next big hit with the critics.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

7 Comments for The Critics: ‘Australia’

Mark Schoneveld 12.02.08 | 1:20 PM ET

Meh. This film was terrible.  I was hoping for the best, but it’s so maddeningly over done it can’t be saved from itself.  Best worst scene: shirtless Hugh Jackman pouring bucket of water over himself while striking body builder pose.  LAME.

Eva 12.02.08 | 1:45 PM ET

Ha. Mark, I think you may just have convinced me to see it!

Hmm… is one scene worth $12 and 3 hours of my life?

Mark Schoneveld 12.02.08 | 2:15 PM ET

Truth be told, while my wife and sister-in-law laughed, I could see them quietly biting their lips, too. 

Me, I can’t stand overly dramatic lighting.  Stud muffins are find, I guess.  It’s just that infernal fakeness.

Shellsey 12.03.08 | 4:28 AM ET

Unfortunately a large percentage of Americans have not travelled to Australia and would not know about the dark history with the native aboriginal people of this land.  Therefore it is very difficult for the critics or film reviewers to provide an unbiased and accurate review of the ‘Australia’ the movie created by Baz Luhrmann.  There seems to be a bad case of green envy whenever it comes to the wonderous talents who come from Australia, whether it be directors, actors or actresses.  I am sure Mr Baz Luhrmann’s talents will be appreciated by many other countries around the world even if it is not America’s cup of tea.  Has any of the critics seen a majority of Australian films besides Moulin Rouge .....  Australia was a unique quality film compared to the many other Australian movies that have been made in the past.  I loved Australia, it was worth waiting to see and yes I went to see it again happily for the 2nd time in the cinema.  I would love to hear how the professional American filmmakers think about ‘Australia’, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Mel Gibson, David Zucker, Mark Waters, Chris & Paul Wietz and Tom Hanks.  Give yourself a real treat and go and see Australia with an open heart and mind. 
God Bless Australia

Mark Schoneveld 12.03.08 | 10:18 AM ET

Hey Shellsey - I don’t think my criticism was of Australian film as a whole in any way.  In fact several of my favorite films of all time come from there - “Ten Canoes” and “Rabbit Proof Fence” come to mind immediately.  I think both those films do the aboriginal people of Australia a lot more justice than the gloss job that “Australia” does.

Eva 12.03.08 | 10:40 AM ET

Hi Shellsey,

I’m sure no one who gives ‘Australia’ a bad review means it as a slight against the country as a whole.

As it happens, two of the four critics I quoted were Canadian, not American - and we certainly have a pretty keen awareness of how nasty aboriginal-colonial history can get, having our fair share of that “dark history” ourselves. (So, for that matter, do our American neighbors.) So I don’t think it’s fair to blame the reviews on ignorance…

margo 12.03.08 | 11:50 AM ET

Allow me to commence with, my husband and I allowed the film to capture our interest. We enjoyed the film which we saw this past Saturday night as a date night out.  He loves Nicole Kidman, whom he affectionately refers to as “Nicki”, and I am enamored with Hugh Jackman (what woman isn’t ?!).  This movie served as a wonderful vehicle to highlight the many talents of these gorgeous folks and the magnificent land that embraces them in their adventures.  It provided a pleasant opportunity for a story to unfold before our eyes.  We were not familiar with the plight of the Aborigines, which served to enhance our interest. The beginning of the film is a little quirky, but it all comes together as the story unfolds. It should be noted that great efforts were put forth in trying to maintain the feel of a film taking place during the late 1930’s. Those details were noticed in the presentation of the visual effects and graphics. The fact that it is almost 3 hours in length, and that time went by without our realizing it, seems to speak volumes.  We became immersed in the story, as it developed and pulled us in to its emotional highs and lows.  In summation, it was a pleasure to be entertained by a good story, especially after such a void of worthwhile films in the movie producing industry in recent years.

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