Australia, the movie: by way of Pearl Harbour, John Wayne, the Australian Tourism Commission (and Baz Luhrmann)

I’m writing this hiding in the bathroom from my partner, with whom I’ve just seen Australia, the movie. She liked it and thinks I need to disclose that I don’t like mangoes, vegemite and other Australian sacred objects.

This film had everything:

  • an aborginal noting in the end that Australia was for for ‘all of us’ (white and black) with a footnote about an apology in 2008 for the stolen generation
  • a lead male character referred to only through the film as ‘the drover’ (gosh do you think  they’re arguing that he is the quintessential embodiment of those heroes of the open plains) – I nearly choked on my popcorn when as Hugh and Co dragged the children away from ‘Mission Island’ where they had been trapped by the evil clergy the heroic aboriginal brother in law tells him “Drover you’ve got to take that mob of children home…” 
  • continual ersatz symbolism throughout the film targeting American movie-goers (let’s face it you’re not going to earn back your $150m+ budget just from Australians): the ‘Wizard of Oz’ theme tune,  John Wayne style river crossings, and let’s not forget homage to Pearl Harbour in the climactic bombing of Darwin by the evil Japanese
  • slo-mo shots of Hugh Jackman soaping his torso under the stars and rather cruel extended closeups of Nicole Kidman (tough on the 40+ generation)

All of this rendered in CGI-led hyper-realism and panoramic landscapes oddly reminiscent of Northern Territory tourism promotional videos (especially funny if you know the Kimberly region as they leaped from tourist spot to tourist spot).

Finally, just in case the above seems rather unbalanced, verging on un-patriotic, Nullah the kid was good and the score was good too.

Another one, where you suspect that there is one guy behind it, who has become so successful that nobody around them is being honest any longer.

Geez Baz, you needed an editor: 4 individuals in the script credits were clearly not enough.

This article filed under the following 'Interest' categories (click category for more) Cliche watch

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Article posted by @Drivelry on December 3, 2008

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