I went and saw Australia with Amy yesterday. We were supposed to go and see it just after it came out, but best laid plans and all that meant we only managed to catch it yesterday.
In conclusion? I love Baz Luhrmann, but this was slightly disappointing, considering how much I loved Moulin Rouge. It's not that the cast performances weren't solid, because they were. And the costumes and the cinematography and most things that make a great movie great were there. I think the big problem with the film was its script.
The ending was too happy, which is probably my biggest quibble. And not in that Doctor Who-like 'everybody lives!' way. I don't know....I don't mind slightly tragic love stories, so when Drover and Lady Sarah and Nullah all managed to survive the bombing of Darwin, the machinations of the government and their assimilation policy and David Wenham's villain, I was a bit disappointed. Apparently Luhrmann had to change the original ending (where Drover dies) because the test audiences found it too depressing. It was too perfect, particularly when Wenham's character was killed in the finale too.
....Did I mention that the film was also horribly OTT in places? Baz's tendency for OTTness was apparent in MR too, but at least it fitted in there, between the Green Fairy hallucinations and the can-can dancers and the musical numbers. Here? Not so much. In the first half hour of the film, pretty much all the characters come across as cardboard cut-out stereotypes: Lady Sarah as the easily-ruffled Englishwoman in a fish-out-of-water situation, the Drover as a sort of Man With No Name, the drunken accountant, the Chinese cook, etc. The character development feels abrupt in places, like it was an afterthought.
And while Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman looked pretty together onscreen, I was secretly hoping that Lieutenant Dutton (Ben Mendelsohn) would flirt up a storm with Lady Sarah and perhaps actually win her in the end if Drover didn't live. Entirely typical of me, to root for the 'ship so implausible that no one else would give it a second thought. ;p
Also, the film was nearly three hours long. I personally feel that maybe half an hour of footage could've been cut and saved for the dvd deleted scenes/director's cut. *shrug* But there you go.
Between this and Quantum of Solace, the summer movies have been kind of meh this year. I hope to see Frost/Nixon next (<3 Michael Sheen), so hopefully that'll be an improvement. Doubt is coming out on the 15th of January, and I'd like to see that one too.
Serving at the usual two masses on Christmas eve (6 pm for small children and the 8pm mass for people like me who just can't stay up until midnight for the big mass) and the 8am on Christmas morning, but this is the first year in a while where we're not going anywhere. Plan on spending the day playing the Wii and watching A Colbert Christmas (recorded the night before obviously, since I'll be at church).