Saturday 06 December 2008 | Australia feed | All feeds


First review of Australia the movie

Cliches abound in an Australian tale of love in the outback.


Local critics had worried that the much-anticipated film Australia would present to the world a series of time-honoured Antipodean clichés. Their fears were well founded.

Within the first five minutes, Luhrmann offers up a medley of Australiana.

First there are aboriginal children playing with boomerangs as the sun sets over the outback, then a crystal-clear billabong teeming with fat fish in the middle of a bone dry desert, then mean whitefellas, mystical blackfellas and an uptight English aristocrat who gets her knickers in a knot over the brutish behaviour of the unreconstructed Australian male.

The hero, Hugh Jackman's rugged "Drover", doesn't say much, but one of the first words uttered from his sunburned lips is "Crikey". This is the kind of movie, you would imagine, that Steve Irwin would have loved.

Nicole Kidman's ridiculous Lady Sarah Ashley fulfils another unashamed stereotype - that of the witless Brit abroad. She huffs and puffs and missteps from the outset, making a royal fool of herself at every opportunity.

She coos dozily over a mob of kangaroos - like many a British tourist before her - before one is promptly shot dead for dinner. She tries to comfort a bereaved Aboriginal boy, sobbing over the death of his mother, with a handshake and the words: "I would like to extend my sincerest condolences". She attempts to move a herd of 2000 stubborn cattle with a wave of her hand and a sternly spoken "shoo!"

But it is Australia's opening scene that gives the overseas audience a flavour of what to expect from the film.

The Drover gets into a fight in a pub on the way to meet Lady Ashley from her plane in Darwin. Somehow, her prim set of luggage is swept up into the maelstrom of fists, until a man's head is punched through one suitcase. Her flimsy underwear flies into the air, lacy pants and slips and corsets white against the deep blue sky, she is paralysed with anger and embarrassment.

There's a pause in the action. Covered in blood, sweat and dust and panting from exhaustion, the Drover turns slowly to Lady Ashley, looking at her as he wipes his mouth with a single silk stocking and says, in a thick, irony-laden drawl: "Welcome to Australia".

  • Australia opens in the UK on Dec 26.

Comments: 90

  • I saw this movie last night and absolutely LOVED it. I went to be entertained and I was. I laughed, I cried and yes, there were cliches, but I heard myself using the term 'crikey' today and realised that I do actually use that term myself! I have lived here for 34 years and love this country. I am incredibly proud of this movie and of Baz, Hugh & Nicole. Didn't feel the three hours pass - just loved it and so did my friend. I strongly recommend you see this movie and decide for yourself.

    Lucy Valigedera
    on December 03, 2008
    at 07:54 AM
  • I've just gotten home after seeing Carry on up the Kimberley, or Australia to you folk. It was like Paint your Wagon meets Casablanca meets all Clint Eastwood movies meets Gone with the wind. Mildly entertaining but cringeworthy. Mrs Boss? Crikey? C'mon, I was expecting Meryl Streep to come running out of 'Faraway Downs' screaming that 'someone's stole my boiby"........Nullah, the kid was the best thing in this movie. Good little actor and beautiful to look at. Hugh Jackman defo did it for the money. I was embarrassed for him. . And Nicole? she should retire now.....

    aussie pam
    on November 30, 2008
    at 04:20 PM
  • The stories are true. You really are a bunch of whinging poms. Get over it, its just a movie and maybe you should all try to be a little more down to earth up there and just enjoy the movie for a bit of fun.

    on November 30, 2008
    at 11:49 AM
  • Australia- acting is shallow. If you like Disney films and you are thirteen you might enjoy it. Pity it had no depth. The best performance is Drovers dog.

    on November 29, 2008
    at 05:11 PM
  • I haven't seen the movie yet but have seen only the trailers. I notce that most of the negative comments are written by people whose spelling,grammar and or literary ability is somewhat limited. Therefore I place very little credence in their ignorant comments and will, repeat will, provide mine when I am able to do so intelligently.

    on November 29, 2008
    at 05:10 PM
  • Nick Charles of Qld you are an ignorant idiot. The stolen generation is no myth!!! I can say this because my mother was one!!!!She was the only one taken of ten children & I can tell you that she was the only one to suffer abuse, which in turn led to an incredibly unsettled life for my sister & me. In contrast, the brothers & sisters that weren't taken had normal lives & their families reflect that. You need to learn facts rather than espouse the rhetoric of a misguided white society. If the indigenous culture were so woeful in their ability to raise their children, how on earth did they survive for 40,000 years?

    on November 29, 2008
    at 05:03 PM
  • I was expecting more. It seems that this movie was put together so Hugh and Nicole could bang each other and brag about their on scene remances in front of their spouces. Other wise the cinematropraphy was nice, the story was ok, but the acting was missing something. I left the theater thinking I was cheated out of a good premise and wondered if their would be a sequel hopefully telling me how it turned out. Too many slow motion shots ruined the flow.

    on November 28, 2008
    at 03:23 PM
  • Well......its got its flaws but its quite simply great rollicking entertainment. Its not a tourism film - Tourism Australia didn't write the script and remote dust-bowls, bombed cities hot empty landscapes hardly make you want to break out the deck chairs. Go see it and have a good time - baz doesn't take it too seriously why give it so much bile.

    on November 28, 2008
    at 09:16 AM
  • I loved this movie, why not go to the movie for entertainment and not to pick it apart. The three hours went by quickly and entertained us the whole time. Were there parts over acted, and not realistic but isn't that what movies are. Go see it and sit back and just enjoy it.

    on November 28, 2008
    at 07:04 AM
  • Australia is simply a dull, camp, pretentious and unintelligible series of cliches.

    Don't believe the hype. It is a children's comedy made for people who can't tell the difference between and advertisement, stage show. picturebook or movie.

    The most epic part of the movie is how badly confused it is. An epic disaster.

    Roger sisskind
    on November 27, 2008
    at 08:46 AM
  • I have seen this move and yes it has been hipped up in the media and it was not exactly what I expected, BUT it was a good move and from what I could hear from the people around me who were obviously crying, they enjoyed it and so did I.

    Its an enjoyable movie and from where I was sitting as least the beginning was very tongue in check.

    If you want a mass produced same old same old movie don�t see this movie or perhaps stay home and watch another repeat of CSI whatever.


    on November 27, 2008
    at 08:45 AM
  • I have seen this move and yes it has been hipped up in the media and it was not exactly what I expected, BUT it was a good move and from what I could hear from the people around me who were obviously crying, they enjoyed it and so did I.

    Its an enjoyable movie and from where I was sitting as least the beginning was very tongue in check.

    If you want a mass produced same old same old movie don�t see this movie or perhaps stay home and watch another repeat of CSI whatever.


    on November 27, 2008
    at 08:07 AM
  • It is the epic for all the wrong reasons.
    The director seems on the other planet!!!

    on November 27, 2008
    at 08:06 AM
  • this movie was soo pez if i had to watch it agian i would shoot my selff in the head

    on November 26, 2008
    at 11:11 PM
  • I've seen the movie. Baz Luhrman is certainly no idiot. He knows there is a minefield of cliches to navigate here, yet he presses on and in the end manages to pull it off. I found it overly long but the movie is beautiful and entertaining and touches on some serious topics as well. This is not a great movie but it is a good movie. It will not be remembered fifty years from now but it will give most people an enjoyable evening out. Bravo!

    on November 25, 2008
    at 10:19 PM
  • The only thing missing from this epic tale was ME!

    Mongrel Bastard
    on November 25, 2008
    at 10:16 PM
  • Thank you Bonnie for the unvarnished truth...I'm sure you'll get heaps of complaints from Tourism Australia.

    However, the last time I checked it was a movie and not and advertorial!

    There's been so much nauseating hype it's nice to finally get the facts so I can spend my time and money on something more intelligent.

    on November 23, 2008
    at 07:35 PM
  • after reading every comment i've decided to throw my 2 cents worth,lets not forget that australians themselves promote their culture as based on the drova character in the movie,which contains very little and heavily distorted historical facts,the plot sounds as deep as a puddle,the characters two dimensional,i haven't nor do i wish ever to see this dribble,if its not about criminals underbelly,blue murder,its the lovable underdog larrakins crackerjack the castle,or some awful boring outback crap,let's get one thing staight,there is NOTHING romantic,dreamy,majestic or mystical about the australian outback,its a most ugly desolate dust bowl this side of culcutta,as for anybody dissapointed in any locals for not wanting to see this 3 hour advert,get over it,its just another fiasco in a long line of dissapointing titles,the australian film industry ceased to be viable after the 1980's

    on November 23, 2008
    at 03:11 PM
  • Well lets hope that this movie pays off like LOTR did for NZ.Today people expect blockbuster movies or they consider them a 5 star minus or a flop. They should of got the beautiful Kate Beckinsale to play opposite Hugh...then the sparks would fly!!Seemed like a long tourism ad before the main feature movie...3 out of 10

    on November 23, 2008
    at 09:33 AM
  • I am an American. I am going to see this movie when it opens in America this Thanksgiving Day, on Wednesday, next week. I am basing this solely on the two trailers I have seen (which have been lovely) and the fact that I admire Nicole Kidman's work as an actress on the "whole" and I also enjoy Hugh Jackman. Baz Lurhman is a brillant director no matter what the comments I read here, and Australia is a beautiful country, which I know he --- and Nicole and Hugh love --- so I doubt VERY MUCH they will do such an injustice as I've read in these comments. I am sure it will be wonderful and I will probably see it more than one time, which is unusual for me, because I do not go to movies that often now since DVDs come out so quickly. This seems to be a movie made for the "big screen," so I am looking forward to seeing it and loving it.

    Sharon Blanchard
    on November 22, 2008
    at 09:24 AM
  • I saw this last nice and i really liked it. To me the kid stole the show. Fantastic performance from him.

    on November 21, 2008
    at 06:39 PM
  • I think that Australia is hoping that the film will help its tourism industry
    I'd be interested to hear if other people think this is true.

    on November 21, 2008
    at 06:17 PM
  • Hey, this is supposed to be a movie review ,some of you people have lost the plot , the problem with the movie is it has been over promoted it is no blockbuster ,the scenes are lovely but its like a lot of the baz & nicole moives its lacking, Kate Blanchett would have bees a better choice and and much more natural in the part ,Kidman lacks character and seems to think her cosmetics and designer growns will pull her through

    on November 21, 2008
    at 06:16 PM
  • Australia has one great asset. The weather for the most part is really terrific.
    This is probably why so many people stay here,even after 10,20 or even 40 years.
    If you want to see the real Australia of the period, get the DVD "The Overlanders" and enjoy!
    Sorry,two assets,lots of international airlines fly FROM here.

    Alice Burton
    on November 21, 2008
    at 04:02 PM
  • If you have nothing nice to say about this movie, don't comment! Don't waste our time on negative and nastiness about this brilliant movie! Go Nicole, Baz & Hugh! Australian people and all the thousands of immigrants that live here and take our jobs and use our natural resources and commodities should get behind this movie and support it! It took alot of guts and money to do this film and I say they all deserve extreme success! The movie is brilliant! I don't care about anything else, so to people with bad things to say, take your opinions and shove them where they fit! This movie is great for Australia and I wish people could just take it for what it is! Simply a MOVIE to entertain, enlighten and take us away from dreary hard times into a world of passion, excitement and the beauty of Australia. A place where we should all be grateful to live!

    on November 21, 2008
    at 02:50 PM
  • As an Australian I am embarrassed that this stereotypical, hyped up rubbish was even made. Romeo & Juliet and even Moulin Rouge were okay. What was Luhrmann thinking when he directed or misdirected this celluloid crap?
    Cliches, oxymoron's, unimagination, a sack full of corn or cattle here, lazy shortcuts, dross scripting, one-sided acting, panoramic pondering, the open country stylised views, cold Kidman, larrikin loser Jackman, token Aboriginal white teeth smiling innocence,...?! Australia is a modern nation dealing with a fast changing international community. Domestically, Australia is changing rapidly. While Australias' past is acknowledged - the reality is far more bloody and realistic - too many white-wash exponents such as Luhrmann and some of my fellow Australians continue to live in denial and 'the good old years romanticism' fantasy. Yes, they have never seen the sticker 'Denial is not a river in Egypt'. More appropriately 'Denial is a people in Australia'.
    Watch 'Quantum Of Solace' instead, at least it's much more grittier and entertaining than this nostalgic, nation-centric faux pas! Ugh..

    on November 21, 2008
    at 02:01 PM
  • why do people from another country rubbish not only a film but a place and time they have never seen Australia of the thirties was more isolated but tis isolation ended with cheap air fares why woul we want to be a bigger version of England after all we live in Ausralia and ewant ur wn ultur not someone elses the movie is about an imigrant that fell in love with a man and the country
    as s any milions of imigrants have when they come here, oh by the way any ausie flick has to be better than the full monty luv and kisses from from the colonials

    on November 20, 2008
    at 03:26 PM
  • Moulin Rouge simply dreadful. will never go see another Baz film as long as I live after that one. Nicole looks so arched and boring in Australia - someone needs to do something with her hair, it looks sickly - what ever happened to her perm from her BMX Bandit, days - now that was a film that definitely didn't cost $120 m, and was far more enteraining than "cliched" Australia.

    I cannot support this film as Moulin Rouge was such a dreaful movie experience, I still rate it as the worst film I have ever seen.

    It's ashame teenagers go along with what their friends like.. pity they are like sheep leading the sheep.

    Not looking forward to my birthday this year, The Day The Earth Stood Still remake comes out... and my uni grades get released.. eeek..

    on November 20, 2008
    at 03:26 PM
  • I haven't seen a decent Australian film since Picnic at Hanging Rock. This one sounds totally awful but I'm not a fan of either the director or the stars. Thanks to hype it will probably be a huge box-office hit but I'd rather cut my own head off than sit through it.

    on November 20, 2008
    at 07:45 AM
  • I think all of Baz's work is victory of style over substance, however, he gives it a go, Mate. See movie: "10 Canoes" for a FABULOUS Oz movie experience.

    on November 20, 2008
    at 07:45 AM
  • The movie sucks.... you couldnt pay me to see it again

    on November 20, 2008
    at 07:40 AM
  • People it's just a movie!

    Snoozer 10
    on November 20, 2008
    at 07:39 AM
  • If you wanna see a really good Baz film then check out Bruce Beresford's "Bazza holds his own".
    Starring the Dame herself and Barry Crocker as BAZZA. The epitome of Australian culcha.

    josie wadelton
    on November 20, 2008
    at 07:37 AM
  • It is only a film, get over it. These days people do not want to see landscapes, no matter how majestic and swooping they are. They want CGI, flashing lights, fast cars and engaging dialogue. The Australian media have been spouting off about it for what seems to have been the last five years, I only hope it lives up to the hype. The Australians are not as balanced as the New Zealanders, they have a chip on both shoulders.

    on November 20, 2008
    at 07:36 AM
  • I think it looks like a great a movie and I look forward to seeing it. As an American who grew up out west in the wilds of Wyoming, the Australians are our closest Western cousins. It looks like a damn good movie.

    As one of those "pretentious" Yanks, lol, my favorite Australian movie will always be "Quigley Down Under"

    on November 19, 2008
    at 11:47 PM
  • l like all the whinging British immigrants who have lived in Australia for 10 or 20 years and say how much they hate the place, either they enjoyed living downunder or were so stupid it took them 10 years to find where the airport was.

    Jim of OZ
    on November 19, 2008
    at 06:27 PM
  • Check THE SILENT WOMAN a new feature shot on HD sony self funded and shot on the coffee budget off your average hollywood flick. Set in the early 50's it tells the story off a German submarine navigating the waters of the Pacific. 'Australia' can't wait to see what they did with 120 mill + !

    Robbert Smit
    on November 19, 2008
    at 05:14 PM
  • I can't believe how you people can knock a movie you haven't seen. Enjoy it for what it is and get over yourselves. If you negative people had your way, we'd all be depressed. Lighten up! I hope anyone who tries to shine a little light into our lives has success....

    on November 19, 2008
    at 05:13 PM
  • 'Australia' is a full-blown epic romance in the tradition. How could it *not* have boomerangs and desert sunsets and billabongs and wise blackfellas and evil whitefellas and the unlikely pairing of a Rugged Drover with a lacy, upper-class British Twit?

    If that's not your thing, and you're looking for gritty realism, then check out Nick Cave's excellent 'The Proposition'.

    Meanwhile, way to go, Baz! 'Australia' sounds like a vastly entertaining romp. I look forward to seeing it.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 09:52 AM
  • shut up those ppl who sed it was bad or is goint to be bad. it will be great and i cant wait to see it.
    baz is great, hugh is great(+hot) and nicole is really great, and that little boy, brandon someonerather is so cute! its goint o be great

    i hope this movie does well for all of them

    well done all of you xoxo


    on November 19, 2008
    at 09:30 AM
  • Can't wait to see this movie. The World could do with a great love story right now. So much gloom but the startlingly beautiful Australian outback will fix that!

    on November 19, 2008
    at 09:30 AM
  • Nothing funnier than Australians trying to be pompous. Though many like to see themselves as a modern, progressive race, I think that secretly most like to be shown as brash, brawling types. Apart from a few real masterpieces thirty years ago, Australian films have mainly been pretty dire, with the Paul Hogan efforts not really worthy of comment. That their industry should produce something as cliched as this should come as no real surprise. Desperate as always to copy the US, their culture has followed that country in devolvng and dumbing itself down to an unbearable degree. "Australia" is just "Titanic" but with more sweat and no cravats. Nought out of ten for you.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 09:29 AM
  • yes, this movie looks very cliche! btw there are asians, indians, muslims living in Australia and ive seen enuff already from the previews to know that i wont be watchin it. Great aussie films if you havent seen, Shine

    Asian Aussie
    on November 19, 2008
    at 09:29 AM
  • Leave the Aussies alone. They live in a tough country. Anyone who can stick it out deserves a medal.
    I love the Aussie men, its the women I can't stand.
    Can't wait to see it. Pity they used Nichole though, should have got a true blue Brit in to do the job proper.

    English Kate in Aussie Land.
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:38 AM
  • You want to see a real Australian film? Try Romulus My Father, with the always brilliant Eric Bana.

    Dave from Perth
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:37 AM
  • Nicole Kidman has been in a run of truly dire films in the last few years, I hope this one breaks her jinx - she's currently the least bankable star based on her fees versus movie earnings. Hugh Jackman isn't always a sign of a good movie either but here's hoping for him too.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:36 AM
  • It is a wonderful movie not to be missed , and please stop knocking Australia it is a great place to live and one can make a fortune if you put your mind to it.
    Most come out to Australia and get home sick and blame Australia for that and why did you leave your own country in the first place if it was so good? ask your self that?

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:35 AM
  • I'm from Australia and the movie sounds terrible.

    Luhrmann is an out of touch elitist who resorts to endless clich�s in order to cover up his inability to actually make a decent original film.

    @ nick - why would us Australians defend a film just because it depicts our country?
    If it's a bad film it's a bad film.

    Check out Picnic at Hanging Rock or The Castle for a decent film set down here.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:35 AM
  • What a lot of hype over nothing. Yet another dreary Australia movie about yester year with the usual array of sycophants drooling all over the "stars". No I haven't seen the movie nor do I intend to. I've seen enough sweeping panormas of the australian outback, artful shots of sunrise/sunset and - no don't tell me, let me guess - cattle being herded amoungst clouds of dust.
    Ho Hum

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:35 AM
  • Sounds about right for a Nicole Kidman movie. You've seen one and you've seen 'em all.

    It's a film intended for the export market. No self-respecting Australian would be seen supporting such commercial tosh.

    Walter Plinge
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:34 AM
  • As usual, the cliched and poorly written press leading the English population into the tired old cultural divide, bookended by the Dickensian British empire at one periphery and the uncouth antipodean convicts at the other.

    I wonder how much of the vitriol from Bonnie Malkin derives from the lack of fanfare and red carpet on arriving in Oz and how much could be ascribed to the fact that British critics were banned from the opening so as not to cruel the marketing campaign set to begin in Britain.

    Who cares that the film is not a documentary.... it's fanciful, has a ham actor in Nicole and will draw decent crowds in the US who think we all speak strine punctuated by English. It's not us that keeps the Oz sterotype going via shows like Home and Away or Neighbours, it's your population that keeps it alive and even pays for the shows to be made.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:34 AM
  • I have lived in Australia for 40 years,yes it is considered by many to be a life sentence,and this new/old film drags to country down the drain further than most.
    They made a movie back in 1912 called 'The Great Robbery'or something similar.They really should have learnt their lesson and stopped making films that year!

    Terry Scott of Brisbane
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:29 AM
  • With regard to your comment Alisdair Mckenzie on Australians being a pathetic race, just remember the sun always shines hear both in the literal and economic sense of the word.

    So you can stick that where the sun doesn't shine mate (That would be the U.K).

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:28 AM
  • Can't wait to see it..

    JW for someone who absolutely hated, u spent an awful lot of time there!

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:27 AM
  • Never seen a race with more chips on their shoulders? look at yourself... your comment is pathetic and this is a discussion on the movie Australia and not a chance for you to inflict your narrow minded views on people.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:27 AM
  • ... It's a movie! And while it does appear cliched etc, such experiences are not to be confused with 'the real thing'.

    You've seen the movie - now experience the country .

    See for yourself ...

    I've seen 'Gone with the Wind', Gene Kelly musicals, and more recent offerings and don't expect US confirm to those models.

    Have seen various British sitcoms / series and would not expect to experience life as a verbatim copy ...

    Even the typeface of the title appears like one taken from an ancient newsreal - and we all know how edited these were! However at least this film alerts the general public to the reality of the bombing of Darwin, some would say.


    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:27 AM
  • Is anyone as scared as me that this will be as dreadful as Moulin Rouge! Hours that i will never get back. As an Englishman living in Oz it�s nice to see a race that�s encouraged to proud of everything produced Australian. This movie is an extension of that. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence and all that other garbage you narrow minded English idiots are banging on about. The fact is that if this movie is bad it�s gonna because of one thing � Baz!!

    Alex in Oz
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:27 AM
  • Alisdair, your vitriolic generalizations make you no better than the oafish Peter. Lets refrain from attaching a single personality to millions of people!
    As for the movie, I feel to compelled to watch it and I hope others do aswell, the Aus film industry needs all the help it can get.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:27 AM
  • Months before this film was even released, the Australian media (particularly the channel 7 'Prime' TV station) didn't refer to this film as 'Australia'. Oh dear me no - before anyone had seen it, it was called 'Baz Luhrman's Masterpiece Australia'. Pretty impressing going by old Baz that his film is regarded as a masterpiece before anyone's even seen it. Did Prime fund it or something? The Australian TV channels are woefully awful, but their myopic championing of anything with the word 'Australia' in it or anything even tenuously associated with Australia is nauseating and childish in the extreme. Grow up Australia.

    Hugh Jorgan
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:27 AM
  • To the person who spent 12 years in Australia and hated it - unless you were in prison, why didn't you leave?

    Nicole Kidman as an English Aristocrat is silly - she'll always be a BMX Bandit.

    simon kneebone
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:26 AM
  • Rotten movie: wonderful country. Don't judge Oz by this string of cliches, go see it for yourself.
    Steve The Happy Pom.

    steve grum
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:26 AM
  • This film "review" is as clich�d as the film itself. British snobbery at it's worst.

    Truth is, most Aussies filmgoers will 'get' the film - it's escapism, pure & simple. That's why it's full of Australian clich�s. Any Hollywood blockbuster you care to name is full of American clich�s. Why the double standards?

    Also, "I lived in Australia 12 years and hated it" JW - this is a typical bulldust opinion from a depressed, disaffected & failed migrant. Australia's a big place, dude! Which small corner of my adopted homeland caused such offence to a poor sensitive sort such as yourself?

    Steve Clarke
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:25 AM
  • It is called 'cultural cringe'.
    I suffer from it...I will see the fim though. Baz Lurhman has a good track record and a distinct style...this is a sweeping romantic epic in the tradition of Gone With the Wind with the added bonus of colloquialisms...what did you expect, another depressing film about herion addiction in the suburbs? Crickey!

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:25 AM
  • I am looking forward to seeing the film if only for the backdrops of this great country. I think the few disaffected Brits should remind themselves that both our nations have a long history of freindship and rivalry and owe each other heaps.

    John Whitehead
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:25 AM
  • ... why cant we all just get along? i dont get the whole australian and british mutual loathing. maybe its because i dont follow sport-
    on a side note, im kind of excited about this movie- even if it does fail miserably!

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:25 AM
  • Peter from Oz. 7-34pm.
    Grow up son, I am a dinky Die Aussie, worked 12 years in the Kimberley,wher Oz was shot, the critics here are saying the film is just a collection of the usual Aussie cliches, (Gone with the Willi- WillI, )I don't doubt it for a minute, Oz IS the best,fairest, country on Earth, No if's or buts, I've lived in a lot, including the UK, and this is the best, BUT, we do have very thin skins, tend to blame everyone but ourselves,
    (Test matches in India)
    Galipolli, WW1,WW2, If we don't want wars, foreign heads of state, why don't we become a Republic ? because then WE would be in charge of OUR destiny and all our excuses would count for nothing.

    Real, Fair Dinkum, Dinky Die.
    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:24 AM
  • Baz Luhrmann is so out of touch with Australia. He had a $200 million budget and showed what Australia isn't about. The dry desert and abos are a far cry from the city lifestyle and white beaches AUSTRALIA IS ABOUT. Sorry Nicole you were woeful!!...hang your head in shame. Baz Luhrmann is a precocious cliche merchant who wouldnt know Australia if it bit him on his German ASS.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:24 AM
  • Hey, 'Australia' is a full-blown epic romance in the tradition. How could it *not* have boomerangs and desert sunsets and billabongs and wise blackfellas and bastard whitefellas and an unlikely pairing of a Rugged Drover with a lacy, upper-class British Twit?

    If that's not your thing, and you want gritty realism, then check out Nick Cave's excellent 'The Proposition'.

    Meanwhile, way to go, Baz! 'Australia' sounds like a vastly entertaining romp. I look forward to seeing it.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 08:23 AM
  • Have any of you actually seen the movie yet before making comment.........the film is set in the 1940's not today......we have moved on significantly ...even to the point where of all the countries in the world so far Global Financial Media Crisis has not to date changed our love of country, I personally can not wait to see this epic. From media reports from those who witnessed the screening last night - they have raved about it. Wait, see it, then comment

    on November 19, 2008
    at 07:59 AM
  • Jw if you hate the place why live there for 12 years. Thats stupid..

    on November 19, 2008
    at 07:59 AM
  • "cue outraged comments from upset australians standing up for a film they haven't seen......" Sorry Nick but we got over the cultural cringe years ago. Besides, many members of the Australian public, if not our media, saw this movie for what it is even while it was in production - a flimsy little grab for cash from a one-note director featuring a pair of badly overrated 'stars'. But more than anything else, what's utterly offensive about 'Australia' the movie is a plot which bolsters the myth of the 'Stolen Generation'. Half-caste Aboriginal kids weren't 'stolen' by church organisations - they were neglected, abused and abandoned by their parents and traditional communities, and their being taken into care (along with many other abandoned or neglected Aboriginal children) was recognised back then as being necessary for their very survival. However, today's PC attitudes would rather turn a blind eye to abusive environments than remove children for their own safety. You should be able to recognise this, looking at today's lead story in the Telegraph about 'Baby P'. Meanwhile, the mythology created around 'the Stolen Generation' which would have it that children were ripped from their screaming mothers' arms has been exposed as a lie. Not a single 'stolen' child has been proved and several high profile Aboriginals who claimed for years to have been forcibly taken have confessed in recent times that they were in fact freely given to white authorities by parents and family who thought they would have a better life for it. Some have even admitted it was.

    Nick Charles of Queensland, Australia
    on November 19, 2008
    at 07:41 AM
  • The default response by so many English people to any kind of challenge by an Australian is �oh it�s just your 'cultural cringe' and the �huge chip that you all have on your shoulders�.

    I'm sorry, but those ideas exist solely in your mind and in the English press. We don't have a cultural cringe in relation to England. I'm not making this up, and it's not a defense. It's simply true. We really, really don't think there is anything cringe-worthy when thinking about us next to you! In fact, the reverse is probably true. We're pretty happy we weren't born in England

    W recognize your greater history, but also recognize your excessive pride in it and constant use of it as a weapon to get one over on pushy colonials is because it is really all you have now.

    Your achievements as a country now are not worthy of any great respect, and the fact that so many of you can't wait to leave the place speaks volumes. Your cherished history and cultural achievements are no more impressive than any other country of a similar age, and they fade in magnificence somewhat when put into perspective by comparison with say, Italy and France. It would indeed be strange if a country that has been around as long as England lacked a great history. But the way you all constantly go on about it is seriously odd. Italians don't, nor do the French. It is a purely English thing.

    I seriously think it is the English who are insecure, not your former colonies. We recognize we are insignificant in the world at this point in our histories, but you still haven't come to terms with your ever-diminishing clout and standing in the world.

    We think of England as a place to make some money while we backpack around Europe, and as a team to play in whatever sport. We don't think of you in any other way. Why do you always interpret every challenge by an Australian as motivated by cultural cringe or a chip on our shoulders? It's simply not true.

    We've seen where you live, what your country looks like, what goes on in the streets of England. You don't have much to be proud of, do you? So I just don�t get why these ideas of Australians carrying around an inferiority complex about England are regurgitated with such regularity in English newspapers and on English blogs and discussion boards.

    If we were going to feel inferior to anyone we'd at least choose a powerful country like the US.

    Yes, I know this is a rant and it�s off topic. But I noticed one bloke has already piped-up with the �chip on your shoulder� comment, so I just thought I would set the record straight so there�s no more confusion. I�ve read this kind of response from English people on so many comment boards that I thought I would take the time, this time, to examine this idea you all seem to hold so dearly and to debunk it as rubbish.

    on November 19, 2008
    at 07:36 AM
  • Peter From Australia shows what a pathetic race the Australians have become.
    I have never seen a race with more chips on their shoulders.
    Do you not think its time to move on?

    Alisdair Mckenzie
    on November 18, 2008
    at 11:43 PM
  • I wonder how many fellow Aussies will get defensive and snipey about any criticism from England?

    Too many of us take ourselves so bloody seriously, we're as bad as the Yanks in a lot of ways.

    I won't be seeing this movkie.

    Strewth Cobber!
    on November 18, 2008
    at 11:30 PM
  • having traveled around Australia six years ago on Quatas boomerangf pass over a month & absolutley loved the country . . . I'm looking forward to seeing Luhrmann's film after catching the trailors &, yes,Oprah's show on it!

    on November 18, 2008
    at 11:28 PM
  • cue outraged comments from upset australians standing up for a film they haven't seen......

    on November 18, 2008
    at 11:28 PM
  • Unfortunately, Baz Luhrmann isn't capable of making a movie that isn't camp and riddled with cliche. He's a director of TV commercials. The job should have gone to a real filmmaker: George Miller, Bruce Beresford, Peter Weir... Shame, Australia, shame.

    Wilton Troop
    on November 18, 2008
    at 11:28 PM
  • 'Peter from Australia' - about your comment: "You beautiful British were so kind and generous towards the Aboriginals". I don't suppose it crossed your mind, but those 'British' you talk of here are actually the original white Australians, no doubt from whom you are descended... I love the way some of you folk blame the crimes against the Aboriginals soley on the 'British' as if white Aussies were descended from elsewhere. Look to yourself eh?

    on November 18, 2008
    at 11:27 PM
  • So many geat Australia films. This one is a money-making fancy dress party (where on earth did those hats come from)that will fade as fast as a suntan in England.

    As dull as Nicole. As enduring as Moulin Rouge.

    Good decision, Russ.

    Greg Browne
    on November 18, 2008
    at 11:27 PM
  • Is this not the Movie Russell Crowe pulled out of as lead, because he saw it as just one big commercial advertisement, for Australia

    Graeme Greening
    on November 18, 2008
    at 08:46 PM
  • It would be really good if we could just once have a well scripted, well-acted, well produced Australian film that does not lapse into the Crocodile Dundee / Steve Irwin clich�s and stereotypes. The Australians I know are nothing like these yobs who, if the films are to be believed, spend their time doing questionable things to animals and treating women even worse. Australian society is far broader than these pathetic stereotypes suggest and most of them are actually very decent and pleasant. Australians need to have some self-confidence and these sorts of film show a lack of confidence, because it appears the Australians have to hide behind stereotypes.

    on November 18, 2008
    at 08:45 PM
  • Blimey, it's not a documentary. It's a grand escapist fun down under! I can't wait to see it.

    "Australia" is supposed to encompass EVERYTHING Australian in true old fashioned Hollywood style. Seems the reviewer is dismayed that the movie accomplished exactly what the director planned.

    Good job Buz!

    on November 18, 2008
    at 08:15 PM
  • Dear JW so glad you made it back home to lovely old England where the weather is always fine and you have moved on from thse winging ghastly Aussies. You beautiful British were so kind and generous towards the Aboriginals here and it's wonderful how you never complain about anything. Please stay where you are as you probably contracted some revolting disease from those heathens down under and we don't want it back!

    Peter from Australia
    on November 18, 2008
    at 07:34 PM
  • Sounds "Bloody good" to me

    Mike Fisher
    on November 18, 2008
    at 07:01 PM
  • I lived in Australia 12 years and hated it. Judging by the comments about the movie, they haven't moved on in 50 years.
    Good luck in promoting Aus they'll need it!

    on November 18, 2008
    at 07:00 PM
  • he sheila from pommie-land would'nt know her diggereedo from a Koala--- yet it's all blue marlin, ya know.

    Goff Patterson IV
    on November 18, 2008
    at 06:23 PM
  • Glad to see them use Hugh Jackman. Love the man and his performances. He seems to really do well when he is allowed to let his natural comic side loose along with the action.

    on November 18, 2008
    at 06:23 PM
  • I lived in Australia for 10 years and I am proudly in posession of an Australian passport. I absolutely adore the place but I have to admit that the last paragraph of this piece sums the up country perfectly - brilliant!

    Casper Slides
    on November 18, 2008
    at 05:33 PM
  • sounds bloody aweful

    on November 18, 2008
    at 05:29 PM
  • Sounds like great entertainment well done Luhrmann!

    on November 18, 2008
    at 05:29 PM

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