I have been waiting to see Australia since I watched the fantastic previews last fall. I loved Baz Luhman's Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet, and Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman are among my favorite modern actors.
Australia is the story of Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman). She has journeyed from England to Australia to try to get her husband to sell their ranch, Faraway Downs, and return to England. Lord Ashley has sent his trusted man, known as Drover (Hugh Jackman), to pick her up in Darwin and take her to Faraway Downs. When they return they discover that Lord Ashley has been murdered and that there is a plot to shut the ranch down by stealing the prime cattle. Lady Ashley, Drover, and others lead a thrilling cattle drive into Darwin to sell the cattle for the war effort. Lady Ashley learns to love a young boy, Nullah, as a mother. Nullah has an aboriginal mother and unknown white father. After the cattle drive there is much mayhem due to the Japanese attack on Darwin two years later and there is a thrilling rescue of Nullah.
Sadly, the movie did not live up to my expectations. It was a good, but not great movie. While I liked parts of it and loved Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman's performances, it was not as good as I thought it would be from the previews. I loved Baz Luhman's unique direction for Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet, but it felt jarring on this big picture epic. Also not helping matters was the cliched storyline and the fact that the movie had the big climatic ending 1 hr and 20 minutes in . . . the halfway point!!!! As it moved on after that I thought . . . wasn't this movie already over? I did like the snippets of action and narrative to give the overall advancement of time and the plot and I loved Nullah and the aboriginal storyline.
The movie had moments of grandeur like the tying in of Wizard of Oz and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and the wonderful shots of Austrialian Outback. I also loved the music, especially when Nullah would "sing you to me." Digital scenes were used too often and were too obviously digital. Costumes were wonderful. Overall I think the movie disfunctioned as it didn't have a clear storyline (seemed like 2 or 3 movies in one).
Although I wasn't in love with the movie, I must say that Hugh Jackman was quite hot in it. When he poured water over himself - wow!!!! Jackman and Kidman's chemistry worked well in this movie.
I thought it was worth seeing once, but not a movie that I love and will watch multiple times.