Australia Ramp-up

Here’s last summer’s trailer for Baz Luhrman‘s Australia (20th Century Fox, 11.26), and a newer, just-released version.

Luhrman is a fever-pitch, headstrong, first-rate director — one of the dependable visionaries in this business. The finely crafted script tells a rousing, big-canvas, primary-colors story that’s set in the World War II era. And the movie is clearly looking to deliver an eye-filling, epic-sized experience with a mostly realistic (i.e., not too much CG) brush.
The only uncertainty is whether or not the Nicole Kidman marquee factor, which hasn’t been working in recent years and has in fact put her at the top of Forbes’ list of overpaid stars, might get in the way. Costar Hugh Jackman is a solid bloke in my book, but take away the Wolverine knife blades and he’s seen as second-tier — or am I wrong? He has a following among over-30 women, or so I’ve read.

16 thoughts on “Australia Ramp-up

  1. Looks EPIC. This is exactly my kind of film.
    I am so-so on Kidman (she’s either perfect or completely wrong for the part) and I have always liked Jackman, even though he’s made some VERY questionable choices.
    All that said, they look great in these roles, and the film looks absolutely stunning on a visual level. I wonder if this is going to be the surprise of the season…?

  2. I’ve always regarded Baz Luhrman as Michael Bay’s long lost gay brother. And this trailer only reinforces that. Both directors have an Ed Woodian sense of tone and choose to pound their audience into submission with heavy imagery and half-ass dramatics instead of taking the time to tell real stories.
    What Luhrman CAN DO is make movie stars look like movie stars, which may be enough for some.

  3. I couldn’t expect more from a trailer preceded by a maxi pad commercial! I’ve been waiting years to see a queer hybrid of Quigley Down Under and Pearl Harbor and thanks to Baz my dreams are finally coming true. And with the promise of a humorous and heartwarming subplot featuring that androgynous aborigine kid? My panties could use one of those maxi pads right now! Tee hee.

  4. I wouldn’t call Hugh 2nd tier, I think all he needs is this 1 role to catapult him into the solid A-list. With The Prestige and The Fountain in 06, it proved to people he isn’t just Wolverine and this movie I hope will cement that fact. He’s well established and respected in the theater/Broadway world with his Tony and Emmy for hosting the Tonys.And from seeing his Australian films and stage performances, he’s capable of anything, all he needs is a good script and he’s set. From early screener reviews, he steals the show here.

  5. This looks terrific!
    Kidman has had a miserable few years at the box-office (and several of those films deserved to tank), but she’s an excellent actress, and I’m rooting for her to find a hit. I thought her wicked turn as a passive agressive New York sociopath in Margot At The Wedding was one of the great unheralded performances of 2007.
    She sounds very different here as well. I’m liking the snooty, upper crust Brit vibe she’s bringing to the character. Hugh Jackman looks great as well, in a role that should provide him a breakout from the Wolverine character.
    And Baz Lurhmann is an inspired auteur. He takes big chances, and so far he’s come up trumps. I think he’ll pull it off again.

  6. I’m pretty sure it’ll be PG 13 because Baz has said in interviews he wants this movie to be one that a whole family can enjoy, that there’s a little bit in there for everyone.

  7. Who exactly is this pic for? The Nights in Rodanthe crowd? Certainly not the Jackman fanboy group, and I doubt there is much of a Kidman base left. if this one has even a wiff of bad reviews on it, I see a huge tank job coming.

  8. Yes, Wells, primary colors is exactly what I thought too, painted with incredibly broad strokes. This movie looks as subtle as a jackhammer.
    It could end up being another hammy but brilliant classic like Titanic, and the epic scale and (relatively) non-CG realness of the film could make for a genuinely moving cinematic experience that encourages repeat business.
    But I’m not holding my breath.

  9. coxcable, I completely agree with your assessment of Luhrman’s talents but, amazingly, he isn’t gay! Despite his marriage I always assumed he was as queer as a three-dollar bill but discovered from people in the Sydney arts scene that he just acts gay to steal their ideas. I’m paraphrasing of course but the more details I got the more it made sense. If you watch them carefully you’ll spot scenes stolen from every decent movie to be made, ever. Also, his wife is FAR MORE than just a costume designer (this time around they’re making it official and she will apparently be credited as a producer). He’s not a bad guy, and very respected in Australia for actually making his movies here, but don’t ask him to mind a copy of your latest treatment!

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