The sweeping new Baz Luhrmann film Australia had its world premiere debut at the George Street Greater Union Cinemas in Sydney, Australia yesterday and was attended, of course, by the movie’s principal stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman (just named by People magazine as the Sexiest Man Alive). Described as the Aussie Gone With the Wind (in that the movie is grand, larger than life and romantic), Australia is set in WWII Northern OZ and throws together two characters that initially butt heads and then, naturally, fall in love over the course of the film. Here are a few pics from the red carpet arrivals from yesterday’s world premiere:
Red carpets were rolled out in Sydney and the dusty outback on Tuesday for the world premiere of the epic movie “Australia” which aims to showcase the rugged continent, its history and indigenous people to the world. Director Baz Luhrmann’s ambitious and grandly named film, the most expensive made in Australia, was released amid a blaze of publicity and a race to finish the movie on time. Australian co-stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman have both carved out lucrative Hollywood careers but wanted to work with Luhrmann, a perfectionist who was so busy editing the film until the last moment that the cast did not see it before the premiere. “I knew we would get there but it has been a long time,” Jackman told Reuters as he walked the red carpet in Sydney, while screenings were held in three other Australian locations. The two-hour 40-minute long movie, which is reported to have cost News Corp’s 20th Century Fox about US$130 million, is a World War Two drama set in stunning Australian landscape. An English aristocrat (Kidman) travels to Australia and joins forces with a “drover” or cowboy (Jackman) and an Aboriginal child to drive a herd of cattle across Australia, falling in love along the way. Australia is pinning high hopes on the romantic adventure, which Luhrmann said he had filmed in the style of “Gone With The Wind” hoping to make his mark on Australian film history, but it remained to be seen if it would draw audiences globally. “There will be some (bad reviews), and there will be some people who really embrace it,” said Luhrmann, admitting spending such a large amount on an old-fashioned style movie was a risk. Early reviews from Australian critics were mixed, with David Stratton in The Australian writing it was not the hoped-for masterpiece while Jim Schembri in The Sydney Morning Herald said it was good but not destined to be a classic — and way too long … Kidman, 41, who worked with Luhrmann on his last and third movie “Moulin Rouge” in 2001, said making “Australia” was a “once in a lifetime thing” for her. “Rarely do you get a make a film that you have dreamed of doing since you were little, which will be part of Australian cinema,” said Kidman. “This is a celebration for me and hopefully for this country.” The movie also focuses on “the stolen generation,” when tens of thousands of Aboriginal children were taken away from their families between the 1880s and 1960s to be raised by whites. Australia’s new Labor government this year issued a long-sought formal apology to Aborigines for past injustices, heralding a new era in race relations in the nation … Luhrmann said the release of the film in the same year as the national apology was coincidental, but in light of the apology, he felt he had to work the message into the story. “Australia” opens in the United States and Australia on November 26, and in Britain on December 26.
I really love all of Lurhmann‘s films … he has an eye for making really inventive and exciting films that not only entertain but also look really beautiful. I became a fan of his with William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet and count Moulin Rouge as one of my all-time fave films. I am very excited to see this movie (I understand there is a scene in the film where Hugh Jackman dumps a bucket of water on his half-nekkid body … being well aware of how the man looks while half-nekkid and wet, I’m game) but am going in without any high expectations. The movie sounds grand but, for me, it doesn’t have to be a timeless classic that will last the ages. I’m just a fan of Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Baz Luhrmann — what more could I want? I’ll deffo see this movie when it opens next week … mebbe I’ll run into one of you in the popcorn line?
[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source]