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Drama - Historic, Drama - Romantic

Australia (2008)

Elevator Pitch.

A young aristocrat Lady Sarah Ashley, travels to the Northern Territory of Australia, to take over the cattle ranch developed by her husband who has been murdered, and on arrival finds that her cattle are being stolen and attempts made to take over her property, so she must gain the assistance of a wilful drover, firstly to help her get her herd to Darwin for sale, and then to maintain and develop the station; their plans go awray when Darwin is bombed by the Japanese and the drover thinks she has been killed.


Stuff happens at the station “Faraway Downs” including the attempts by the police to remove the half-caste child from the small community. The cattle are driven to Darwin, overcoming attacks by the villanous cattle baron who tries to drive them over a cliff, and to poison them. Lady Sarah attepts to persuade the drover to join her in the operation of the farm, they dance at a dance and have rather decorous sex after quite a bit of snogging. Darwin is attacked by Japanese bombers. Also a lot of drinking, but as some have pointed out – no smoking.

A View This film was unbelievable. Hugh Jackman looked as if he was moonlighting from X-Men, and Nicole Kidman seemed to be on day release from Mary Poppins. If there are any more Australian folk clichés, the director can’t have known about them, and worst of all they had all already been played for laughs in Crocodile Dundee. And it goes on for so long. It has a certain filmic historical value but that would be the only reason for watching it.
Duration 2h 45m Rating (UK) 12A
Source of story A lot of Australian legends and folk memories
Director Baz Luhrmann
Writers/Script Stuart Beattie, Baz Luhrmann, Ronald Harwood, Richard Flanagan
Starring Bryan Brown, David Gulpilil, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Ben Mendelsohn, Bruce Spence, Brandon Walters
Additional Info Germaine Greer gives this outing a real seeing to in the Guardian, suggesting that it gives the relationship between the Indigenous people and the whites a sort of “Uncle Tom” quality which in reality did not exist. The Aborigines were, she says, treated with unremitting harshness, and the film is just part of the attempt to paper over the cracks. The Australian Tourist Board contributed $40 million.


About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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