australia

Official websiteIMDB listing

Oscar nomination: Costume Design

I was prepared to laugh it up over Australia. Something about the trailers hinted at a movie that was way too ambitious, too arch, too earnest, and at 3 hours, too long – and this was the director that gave us Moulin Rouge, after all.

Well, I finally watched it last night, and damned if I wasn’t laughing and crying at all the right parts (you know, when the director wants you to).

It is not the hot mess I expected. It is not a steaming pile. It is, in fact, a rather good Aussie hybrid of a western and a war picture, and the family dynamic at the heart of it (Nicole Kidman as mom, Hugh Jackman as dad, and cute newcomer Brandon Walters as their adopted son) was one I bought completely. The only significant flaw I saw was that you can see the neat resolution coming about a mile off.

So good for you, Baz Luhrmann. All is forgiven. And I think I’d like to see your little film again, if only to experience again that thrilling cattle-stampeding-toward-the-kid scene.

In other news: I’m still not sure how I’m going to see The Baader Meinhof Complex, but here’s a review of it I found online in Time Magazine.