I saw Australia Sunday. Not the entire continent but the nearly 3-hour film. Which could be as long as it takes to see the country.
I have managed to see all of Baz Luhrmann's films on my own. I danced myself out of the theater as 1992's Strictly Ballroom ended. In 1996 Romeo+Juliet played in a very small theater and I found myself sitting behind two teenagers who clearly hadn't read Shakespeare. As the movie was ending they were yelling at the screen for the two lovers not to kill each other. They didn't realize that is how Shakespeare's tragedies always end. Someone, or several someones, die.
Moulin Rogue! (2001) was such over-the-top brilliance I listened to the soundtrack over and over again. I was thrilled when the circus one year used the can-can song, which my kids renamed the clown song.
So when Australia arrived on our shores I thought it would be a delicious combining of Priscilla Queen of the Desert with Man from Snowy River. I would settle into the chair on my own and just fall into is vibrant story-telling.
It was two long, rather boring movies put together. It started off a taming-the-outback/cowboy film and when that story ended (and I thought the movie was over) an entirely new World War movie started. One friend (also a Baz fan) bemoaned it had every single movie cliche imaginable.
And how badly did I just want them to break out into song?
"Young Hearts Run Free" from William Shakespeare's Romeo+Juliet.