Australia: The Good, The Bad and Bryan Brown

December 2, 2008

We’ve just gotten back from three hours of Australia, the sweeping epic romantic adventure drama starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, several thousand head of cattle and Bryan Brown.

Here are ten things I think you should know about this film (mild spoilers, maybe):

  1. Nicole Kidman somehow got her original face back, or something close to it.
  2. There are a lot of Wizard of Oz references. In fact, Somewhere Over The Rainbow is a plot point.
  3. Hugh Jackman plays a mysterious drifter called The Drover. For this film, the role of Hugh Jackman was played by Clint Eastwood circa 1967.
  4. Kissing and love scenes are okay as long as something explodes soon afterward, and in this case, that condition is met.
  5. It’s actually Australian law that Bryan Brown must appear in every film made there.
  6. Before the movie, the theatre played a commercial for the new Killers album, and it worked on me, as I am going to get it.
  7. Baz Luhrman made Romeo and Juliet as well as Moulin Rouge, two films I hold near and dear to my butt … I can’t stand them. This time, he left the singing and dancing out and things work better.
  8. There’s a little kid in this movie, played by Brandon Walters, and he steals the thing. I am not exaggerating. It could be argued this is actually a movie about him, with everyone else playing supporting roles. Plus, he looks a lot like my youngest son, so my heartstrings got tugged a few times.
  9. A big part of the story concerns the “stolen generations,” those mixed aborigine children who were taken from their homes to have the “black bred out of them.” It’s a lot like what happened here in Canada, with native residential schools. I could hear people muttering in dismay when facts of the stolen generations were detailed onscreen, so whatever happens with this film, the story of those innocent children will become better known. A better take on it is Rabbit Proof Fence.
  10. I loved this movie. Mrs. Weathereye did not. She found it hokey and a little too all-over-the-place. She also had problems with Nicole Kidman. I have worlds of problems with Nicole Kidman, but she actually did okay here. All in all, a fun night at the movies.


  1. Hmmmm. I, too, loathed Moulin Rouge and knew better than to try to watch R&J, but I do like Hugh Jackman.(and I actually sat through Kate and Leopold at the cinema)

    (it was on a date with my now wife)

    (no, it did not meet the kiss/explosion requirement)

  2. But Kate and Leopold did have time travel, so that kind of counts.

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