I've been trying to figure out how to write about Australia. I went to see it last night, and I loved it. Adored it. Wanted to turn around and go watch it again.
I was pretty sure I would at least like it, because it has cowboys, soldiers, horses, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Jack Thompson, and David Wenham in it. Plus, it's set in Australia, home to my most favoriteset movie of all time, The Man from Snowy River (1982). And I really like Baz Luhrmann's storytelling abilities. Plus, Mom, Dad, Johnnycake, and Dimples all liked it.
My expectations were more than met. They were exceeded on every hand. The sweeping story of love and good vs. evil, the breathtaking panoramas, the sweeping shots of a cattle herd on the prod, the enjoyable acting... it was all grand.
And I know Hugh Jackman "learned to ride" for this movie, but holy horsemanship, Batman! The man looks like he was born in that saddle, and you could tell he did most of the riding himself. Yeowsa. The sight of him on a horse galloping full-tilt as he drives a herd of brumbies past the camera... it was almost like watching Snowy River for the first time again.
Actually, parts of it did remind me of The Man from Snowy River (the original, not the Disneyized sequel), and not just because they both have Jack Thompson in them. The loner hero who has a special way with horses, the pretty heroine who's tougher than she looks, the various characters out to prove themselves... mmm.
Oh, it gets one Warhead, if you hadn't guessed.
While writing this scattered, unfocused, effusive review, I've been looking for pix to add to this post. Three of them remind me so much of other movies, I can't help but think they're deliberate hat-tips.
This pairing makes me think Gone with the Wind! You too?
This shot of Hugh Jackman is pure Clint Eastwood from his Spaghetti Western days. I blogged before about their similarities....
And finally, this shot has to be homage to John Wayne in Hondo. It has to be.