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Australia, the perfect post Turkey Day movie

November 30, 2008 at 1:00 pm

I don’t know about you but I’ve always indulged in the tradition of taking in a movie the day after Thanksgiving. Evidently, no matter where I spend the holiday, most of that locale celebrates the same tradition. If it isn’t here in South Florida, it’s bone-chilling Pittsburgh with the sisters. This year I did my celebrating with friends in lovely Orlando. Winter Park to be exact. The common denominator: unruly cineplex parking lots.

The movie I saw was Australia, with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman (double swoon). A girl could faint or sweat profusely whenever he exposes his chest. Don’t take my word for it ladies, see for yourself. Bring Kleenex for both the drama and the drooling.

As magnificent as it is,  Jackman’s chest was not the only lure. Australia is an epic film that is remeniscent of the mother of all sweeping epics, Gone With the Wind. My movie companion compared it to Out of Africa, another big-boned beauty.  It was large, cinematically breathtaking, romantically heart wrenching, and just plain mesmerizing. My favorite element of the film is one that you’ve heard me appreciate in prior posts – magic.

The magic in Australia, as you know, is of the native, Aboriginal style. No representation of this country/continent could omit the importance of its indigenous people? (We steamrolled over our Native Americans, they their Aborigines – God bless civilized man, ahem. Notice I didn’t say civilized woman)

Whereas the movie’s look and story is akin to the classic American western with property at stake, gun fighting, barroom brawls, a love affair and a villain, the subtext is where the true nectar lies. That nectar turns out to be toxic, the story of the country’s Stolen Children. (Have you seen Rabbit-Proof Fence?)

You see, the perpetrators of the country come in, exploit the native women, and when they bear their “half caste” children, the government steps in an yanks them from their mothers. The long term goal is to “breed the black out of them.” Nice, huh? Knock ’em up and then tear out their hearts.

There’s much you can read about this abysmal part of Australian history yet what I found to be the most curious aspect of it was that the country made its formal apology in 2008. Funny, do you think it had anything to do with the making of this movie?

Synchronicity? Not in this case.

The real star of Australia is the little “half caste” boy, Nullah, who spends much of the movie running from the authorities. His eyes, his songs, and his amazing capacity for the magic he inherited from his medicine man grandfather, “King George” are dazzling. I couldn’t take my eyes off this child. The notion of “singing something to you” is enchanting to me. If only…

Let it be said here, Nicole Kidman’s strength is NOT her singing.

King George, by the way is played by an authentic medicine man. Apparently, a medicine man with a perfect execution of the “tree pose’  yoga asana.

So, English woman arrives in Australia to sell property and 2,000 head of cattle, finds husband has been murdered, takes over his cattle ranch and falls for the “drover” of the herd. Young Nullah becomes their adopted son and the three adventure through the film with intermittent lovefests and encounters with death. All inside of one of the most gorgeous cinematic landscapes I’ve yet seen.

That’s all I’m going to say.


Ignore all reviews (except this one) and,

Go see it.

Comments (1)

1 Comment »

    I might just wait and rent the movie instead of going to the cinema.

    Comment by cashbackJanuary 8, 2009 @ 7:33 pm

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