I shouldn't have been. I absolutely adored, adored, adored this movie. It was beautiful, sweeping, romantic, tragic, epic, outstanding. Just amazing. Nicole Kidman as Lady Sarah Ashley was utterly entrancing, delightful and I just loved her to bits in this. She made me laugh so hard in so many parts, and then cry in others. She's just such an amazing actress, but when paired with the right director (as she'd previously been as well with Burhmann in Moulin Rouge), she's magical. Hugh Jackman (Drover) was hot. Yes, he did some fabulous acting, had comic and tragic moments that he played beautifully, but honestly, walking away from this, all that I could think was: Hugh Jackman is hot. And Lurhmann clearly knew that as he showcased Jackman's hotness to a lovely, lovely degree. I mean, seriously, the man was the reason the phrase eye-candy was invented. That face, those eyes, his BODY, his long, long legs, his chest, his arms ... I just could go on and on. SO, SO hot. Phew! And one of the funniest earlier scenes was Kidman's Sarah seeing that. They're camping out and the scene begins with a shirtless Drover pouring water over his soapy chest in the moonlight, Sarah peers out of her tent and is awestruck (understandably). As the scene continues, she comes out and they talk, there's a hysterical moment where he reaches down to grab (or put) something in the waistband of his pants and the pants dip past his hips a bit. Signifying Sarah noticing this, as she looks quickly down with his movement, the camera quickly follows it down and then jerks back up as if it were Sarah's eyes and she (it) didn't want to be caught.
There were other great comic moments, including some that played with the Wizard of Oz theme which was referenced throughout the film in (as-mentioned) comic, as well as poignant ways. But this also contained a lot of tragedy. Seriously, I spent the last twenty minutes crying or on the verge of tears. I was so emotionally enraptured by what was going on onscreen. It was wonderful.
The story was pretty dang epic (screw some critics who said it wasn't!), dealing with racism (against half-Aboriginal children), World War II and some of the effects on Australia and cattle monopoly, and all of this was surrounded by two beautiful love stories. One was the obvious love story between Kidman's Sarah and Jackman's Drover: Their first kiss, their second kiss, their making love, their reunions (including one that was very similar -- but go, Rusty! not as good by far -- to "The Stolen Earth" Doctor/Rose reunion) were sexy, joyous, hopeful, romantic and I just LOVED every moment of their romance. Kidman and Jackman (heh, I JUST realized that both of their last names end with "man") didn't have amazing, electric chemistry, but they had a sweet, believable chemistry and I completely bought the love story.
The other love story was between Sarah and one of the half-Aboriginal children (Nallah) played by a wonderfully talented and likable young actor named Brandon Walters. We hear and see him first and last and it's deserved. This kid is just wonderful, natural, fresh-faced, sweet and just awesome. And the bonding between he and Sarah (or Mrs. Boss as he calls her) is absolutely beautiful. Some have called him the "real star of the film." And I can see that. However, as hot (and, yes, to not be shallow, talented) Jackman is, as wonderful as Walters is ... for me, the star of the movie was Kidman. She was just utterly delightful, every moment on screen I felt every thing she was going through. I loved her character, I felt for her so completely and found her strong and stubborn and beautiful and proud, and humble and loving and just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
As the whole move was. I just adored it!! And I can NOT wait for it come out on DVD because I'm snatching that sucker up ASAP!
Non-spoiler comments: I ADORED it!
- If you love Baz Lurhmann, go see this movie.
- If you love Nicole Kidman, GO see this movie.
- If you love Hugh Jackman, go see this move.
- If you love epic romances, go see this movie.
- If you like sweeping dramas beautifully written and directed, go see this movie.
But be warned! It's about two and a half-hour long. But so worth it!