Bad Movies We Love: Australia

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Real Steel calls upon Hugh Jackman's ability to tame and train robots, but this isn't his first time at the robo-dome. He first conquered a borg named Nicole Kidman in Baz Luhrmann's failed epic Australia. Ha! Now, now, that's the first and last Nicole Kidman joke you'll hear from me because 1) Nicole Kidman is awesome, 2) Rabbit Hole is under-appreciated, and 3) BORGS ARE VINDICTIVE. Let's reinspect the joys of this looooong movie without ever caring about the story!

Director Baz Luhrmann began Australia, a gargantuan WWII-set melodrama, with one humble goal: to make an Aussie Gone with the Wind. Seems reasonable enough! After all, Hugh Jackman has the chiseled good looks of Olivia de Havilland. But bad news: Turns out you need more than neat colors, symmetrical actors, and Out of Africa khakis for a great epic. At 165 minutes, Australia summons neither the charisma nor intrigue to justify its grandeur, even if everyone onscreen is dapper, sweet and even a little funny. Like all Bad Movies We Love, Australia does give us five lovable qualities, and we've ranked them for you riled marsupials.

5. Scenes and scenes of scenery!

Imagine a perfect world where National Geographic photoshopped all its mountains, streams, and wildlife to make them resemble Abercrombie catalog backdrops. Are you clapping yet? Luhrmann understands that nature is supposed to look a little Botoxed, so the continuous shots of the glorious outback dribbling with Vaseline never get old. Check out the marvel: It's all going swimmingly until that hilarious shot of Hugh and Nicole under the waterfall. Nick and Jessica, anybody?

Screen shot 2011-10-05 at 2.34.15 AM.png4. Fact: Outback outfits from 1938 are the most glamorous on Earth

Part of Luhrmann's Gone with the Wind fetish is fitting Kidman's haughty character with the most gorgeous, yet character-appropriate garments in the hemisphere. You can imagine the amount of perfectly tailored pencil skirts this entails (lots), and the darling hats she dons (which are, again, darling). They're like lux originals of all the cheap dignitary shit Madonna wears in Shanghai Surprise. Shanghai Surpassed, Madge!

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  • JoD says:

    All true. But in many ways this movie is really hilarious. It is like the weird imagery of your own mind when you read a book.
    Yes, it sort of is like reading a book, watching "Australia". It's long, its super kitsch, but just because of that super fun to watch; And in my mind will forever stick Nicole asking a kid whom she tries to bond with: "Would you like to hear a story?" Her tone and her despair about having to do something she absolutely doesn't know how to do - handling kids (and "The Driver" for that matter) - are expressed in a really really cute way. It's a lot of slapstick in there. And implausibility. But also some spiritual value, seriously.