australia

I feel like I'm way behind this year. In the last few years, I've taken pride in the fact that I tended to see prestigious or award-winning movies right away. I was always right on top of the conversation.

This year, things are different. It may have something to do with my decision to drop my subscription to Entertainment Weekly.* It may also have to do with my recent negligence in following my favorite movie blogs. But I think the main reason I'm a bad, bad movie geek this year is that I've got two jobs, and a desire to crash and do nothing on my rare night off.

So last night I took a step in rectifying this sad state of affairs... I actually went to a movie in the theater.** I'd wanted to see Australia ever since I heard it was coming out, mostly because I adore director Baz Luhrmann and believe he can do no wrong.

I was not disappointed last night. I know it's gotten mixed reviews, but I have to believe they came from people who don't understand the genius that is my Baz.

If you're not familiar with Luhrmann's work, he's known for his Red Curtain Trilogy, which includes Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge! His movies tend to be visually stunning (and a bit head-spinning); they're unique for their over-the-top characters, intense cinematography, and wildly avant-garde style.

Interestingly, Australia had more in common with classic epic romances like Gone With the Wind and Titanic than with any of the Red Curtain films. There's still a bit of the trademark Baz Luhrmann stuff (those of us who love him most will recognize it), but this film is by far more mainstream. The setting is lush, wild 1930's Australia, and our story comes complete with a swashbuckling, mysterious hero and a refined-but-feisty heroine.

Truly, it's just fun to watch (how often does that happen at the movies anymore?), but what really knocked me on my booty was the ROMANCE. Oh, Lord, it was romantic. I'm actually feeling kind of swoony right now thinking about it. The kissing. And the Hugh Jackman. And the guy who can't declare his love at all till it may be much too late. (God knows I've got experience with that.) And the rescues. And more kissing. And more Hugh Jackman.

OK, yeah, I gotta go cool off.

*It was getting WAY too expensive. Why don't they offer renewal rates that are as low as the rates for new subscribers? No worries. My card's in the mail.
**This used to happen 2 or 3 times a week... but last night was my first time since W. In October.
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7 Response to "australia"

  1. Anonymous Says:
    December 5, 2008 at 10:12 PM

    Glad you liked it! I've seen some of the negative reviews and was a bit worried. After all, "Moulin Rouge!" is my favorite movie and I had high expectations for this one. I've just been waiting for a review from someone whose opinion I trust. Thank you! Time to go and see it myself, methinks.

  2. David Bishop says:
    December 6, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Yea. I don't know what the mixed reviews are all about. I absolutely loved it, and I'm glad you did too.

  3. Fletch says:
    December 9, 2008 at 12:50 AM

    Wow - the rare occurence where I outright disagree with you. I must say I enjoyed Australia, but that was only because I was laughing at it for the last hour or so. What a cliche-ridden cheesefest. Quite possibly the most predictable movie ever, with no surprises whatsoever for the viewer. It's like an US Weekly version of a movie but set in the 40s, and contains as much stlye as a grain of salt.

    To praise Baz really perplexes me; this movie could have been directed by ANYONE.

  4. Pat says:
    December 11, 2008 at 8:29 PM

    Hey Nayana - you've been tagged!

    It's the 20 Favorite Actresses meme - here's my post with the details: http://doodadkindoftown.blogspot.com/2008/12/20-favorite-actresses-meme-presented-in.html

  5. Daniel Getahun says:
    December 12, 2008 at 2:34 PM

    Hmm, unfortunately I fall in line more with Fletch, but I didn't hate it at any point.

    At least we can both still love Romeo + Juliet!

  6. The Mad Hatter says:
    December 22, 2008 at 4:13 PM

    OK - Thanks for this...for a minute there I was starting to think I was the only person who liked this movie.

    It wasn't great, but certainly deserves points for ambition.

    It wasn't as good as his Red Curtain movies, but it would have been hard pressed to equal up anyhow.

  7. Vanessa says:
    January 1, 2009 at 6:33 AM

    I am completely with you! Loved Australia and am a huge Baz fan!

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