Baz Luhrmann’s overcaffeinated ode to the birth of a nation is an epic, all right. An epic mess. Kidman annoys mightily as a fidgety, starched-collar English rose who travels to the Australian outback and finds it to be a lawless land of livestock, aboriginal hoodoo, and hunky slabs of shirtless beefcake (Jackman as a smoldering, rugged cattle driver). Way too long and stuffed with a dozen too many secondary characters, hollow set pieces (a vertiginous cattle stampede is the lone standout), and shout-outs to The Wizard of Oz, Australia is proof that a little of Luhrmann’s kitschy, antic style goes a long way. By the time the end credits mercifully arrive, you might be convinced that corn and cheese are the country’s chief exports. A couple of insignificant (and rightly) deleted scenes make up the sole EXTRAS on the disc. C
Genre: Drama, Western, War; Starring: Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Ray Barrett, Bryan Brown; Director: Baz Luhrmann; Author: Stuart Beattie, Baz Luhrmann; Release Date Wide: 11/26/2008; Runtime (in minutes): 165; MPAA Rating: PG-13; Distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Posted February 25 2009 — 12:00 AM EST
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