So one might think that I would make my first post after Thanksgiving all about Thanksgiving. Not so. You see, I went to see the film Australia on Thanksgiving morning and it is a bit on my mind right now.
I went with a bit of trepidation as the local movie critic gave it 2 out of 4 stars complaining that it was too long and that it couldn't decide if it were a film about cattle ranching, the Stolen Generation, or World War II. I wasn't too far into the film, though, before I had decided he or she (probably he cause I can't imagine a woman giving the Hugh Jackman of this film 2 stars) is a complete idiot.
This is how I see it: This is a film about a family. And like just about any family I know, their experiences and trials span a variety of issues at one time. The experiences and trials of this particular family involve cattle ranching, the Stolen Generation and the beginning of World War II (did you know that Japan attacked mainland Australia? cause I didn't) and is set in the stunning Outback of Australia. Baz Luhrmann, the director (also directed Moulin Rouge) did an absolutely beautiful job--I mean stunningly beautiful; see this movie on the big screen or you will be missing out. Nicole Kidman was surprisingly funny. And Hugh Jackman was drop dead gorgeous--really must see what else he has done; maybe I'll even watch those X-men movies. It is 2 hours and 45 minutes long but didn't seem so to me. In fact while I sometimes feel like movies end too soon, I felt this one was just right. Had Luhrmann done the unthinkable and tried to shorten the movie or drop a subplot the movie would have seemed silly and unremarkable. What it turned out to be is a stunning epic of a movie that you really should see. Also, if you like movies that cause audience reaction (good ones not like the audience reaction when Pierce Brosnan started singing in Mamma Mia) this is the film for you. There were collectives gasps (mounting on screams), out-loud laughing, delightful giggles (for Hugh), and even a few claps when Hugh shows up and saves the day. In short, it was surprisingly funny, beautiful, touching, dramatic, and an all around good movie. Nicole Kidman should get an Oscar nomination as should Luhrmann--I would vote for Hugh Jackman as well for his looks if nothing else, but I think his character needed to have been developed just a touch more to get the nod.
Now if you are a like the Neanderthal kicking my seat from behind through the entire movie who made comments like "that was really long" and "it had 7 endings" (I absolutely have no idea where else you might have ended this movie) then you probably shouldn't see this movie.
In light of my above reaction to Hugh Jackman I would like to now officially add him as one of My 5, which actually brings my total to five (the others being Derek Jeter, Viggo Mortensen, Eddie Cahill, and Iaon Gruffud--although I'm seriously thinking of dropping Viggo and probably will once I find a good replacement). Isn't he yummy? There is a "shower" scene in the movie that will make you smile. It is a bit contrived in the pose, but I can't bring myself to mind.