I don’t know what’s everyone’s beeswax about Australia but I loved it!! All 165minutes of it. I didn’t even feel the length of the film. Alright alright,my husband reckons I’d be a biased opinion since I’m a big fan of Baz Lurhmann and I do like Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman too. I do agree with him and there’s good reason why I’m a fan and an objective one at that. Mr Lurhmann took a simple story, picked the right cast, filled it with charming Ozzie moments and made a tale that brought you into another world for a bit. That’s good film making to me.
It takes a good ole Aussie bloke to show Hollywood how to make an epic film that isn’t laden with overly dramatic moments and chilled enough not to take itself too seriously, albeit maintaining a strong message that one day we all have to apologise for our own narrowed mindedness.
Set in the sometimes harsh Northern Territories, the cinematographer, Mandy Walker did an amazing job at making barren land look alluring. Of course, me being the reverse sexist that I am, it helps that she’s a sheila 🙂 makes me have that much more respect for her. I do have a thing for women who hold their own in male dominated areas. So hats off to Madeline Albright, Aung San Su Kyi, Mother Theresa too … just to name a few.
Back to the film, it wouldn’t be objective if I only gushed about the positives bits. So there were a few moments that bothered me, like the EXTREME close up of the leads kissing. I don’t think I need to see their lips lock that clearly :p and there were moments that the surreal look didn’t quite work for me. It is a Baz Lurhmann film so I half expected them already but I wasn’t completely sold on them for the genre.
I can’t complain about the casting though. I can’t think of any other Aussie actors to play Lady Sarah Ashley and Drover. Naomi Watts and Russell Crowe would have made it a completely different film 🙂 The little boy, Brandon Picked-Out-Of-Nowhere Walters was amazing as the half Aboriginal, half Caucasian Nullah.
Look at those eyes, you can’t tell me, you aren’t slightly intrigued 🙂 He was really good, acting against big wigs like Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman and completely holding his own. I loved his little Ozzie accent too. Too too cute 🙂 The actor who played his grandfather blew me away though.
David Gulpilil is the quintessential Aboriginal and has played many on screen but his portrayal of King George, little Nullah’s grandfather is probably my favourite Aboriginal character to date. Watching him against the Australian outback, reminded me that humanity is but a small small part of the universe. We tend to forget that. With our technology and politics, we think we’re in control of everything and ever so often forget that we don’t control everything, hardly at all, we don’t control anything.
So yes, you can say I was touched by the film. More than all the metaphysical subtexts though, I was reminded why the Australian subculture of ‘being chill’ is my big take away from my time spent there. I love how they can see the humour in the most serious of things … I’m not talking about disrespectful wise cracks that border on the British dry humour or American in-your-face jokes that takes the mickey out of other people, I love how Ozzies laugh at themselves in a harmless way .
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Brit dry humour and American in-your-face jokes when they’re laughing about themselves too, I’m big into making fun of myself so I do miss harmless Aussie fun a lot. Sometimes I think even they’ve been too swept away by the Pomps and the Yanks that in trying to emulate them, the Aussies have forgotten what they’re really charming at. That’s why I so enjoyed the film, Baz Lurhmann shows us Australian-ness at it’s best and manages to remind us that if we don’t open our minds, one day we’ll have to hang our heads low and apologise for keeping them closed.