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Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Baz Luhrman 
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Ray Barrett, Bryan Brown and Tony Barry.  
An image from Australia

Baz Luhrmann is arguably one of the most extraordinary contemporary directors out there. Out of his brief but overwhelmingly successful filmography comes “Australia.” Set in Australia around the time of the Second World War, the film follows a wealthy, English aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) as she travels to Australia to see the ranch land she has inherited. When cattle rustlers plan to overthrow her, she implores local ‘stock-man’ Drover (Hugh Jackman) to help her. Hard lessons are learned and romance blossoms just as the Japanese invade and bomb the town of Darwin.

This film is certainly an epic if I ever did see one; it is approximately a whopping three hours long, it had an allegedly justifiable budget of £87.6 million and was four years in the making. One of Baz Luhrman’s trade marks as a director has always been his taste for the excessive. However, the film is more than just its epic status.

The beautiful landmarks of Australia are captured in such an inspiring way that the only emotion that can be felt is awe. Water, sand, sunsets are all shot with such grace and expertise that, every colour and every shade is exposed in all its glory; making this film simply breathtaking. The harsh yet stunning terrain is juxtaposed with the difficult realities of the plot and the destruction caused by the Japanese bombs is devastating.

Nicole Kidman is perfect for her role as Lady Ashley; she is beautiful and glamorous and we see her transform from this into something so much more throughout the turbulent events of the film. Hugh Jackman also excels in his Clint Eastwood-esque role of the ranch handler and lover.

Utterly picturesque and well worth the three hours you spend sitting on your bottom in front of the silver screen!

Rachael Pilson-Wood

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)
2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)