Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Baz Luhrmann may soon join Mel Gibson on my list of blacklisted directors.

I just saw Australia, and I sorely miss the three hours of my life that I will never get back.

This movie was seriously unbelievable. It was like a Disney-made-for-TV movie hopped up on HD. The script went through every possible ridiculous cliche. You would think that the stellar acting abilities of Nicole Kidman and High Jackman would still somehow save it, but instead they took the cliches further, portraying parodies of their own characters.

One problem with packing a film with every possible cliche, is that you then have to include every possible story arc. Which Australia did. Hence the butt-numbing three hour long film reel.

The film is at times saved by the juicy colors and panoramic landscapes. Then again, at other times, the awkward compositions and cartoony effects just serve to remind you that you're watching a really bad movie.

I was so disappointed. I was genuinely excited about Australia. I should have remembered how over-the-top all of Lurhmann's films are. Romeo and Juliet is the only film of his that I have genuinely liked so far, and I think that is because, well, freakin' Shakespeare wrote it. And Claire Danes is brilliant. But, Strictly Ballroom . . . was nice enough, but forgettable. Again cliche. And then Moulin Rouge . . . I am sorry, but over-the-top is not in it with that one. I want to like it, and darn Baz, it does haunt me and even touch me, but it's garishness never ceases to repel me.

My advice, save yourself the ten bucks and the three hours. Don't believe me? Check out the reviews of Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and Entertainment Weekly. They all say the same thing.

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