(USA/Australia) Baz Luhrmann does not do things by halves. Baz Luhrmann does things in exponentials. Baz has never shot a scene and said, “That will do. It is tight, restrained, and says everything that needs to be said.” Baz Luhrmann does not understate. He does not rely on the audience’s tacit understanding of what is left unsaid, unscored, unshown. Nope. Baz Luhrmann does things to excess. On the surface, he must have seemed the perfect choice to direct “The Great Gatsby,” itself the great fairytale of American excess.
Category IIA. Crikey. “Australia” is a bloody long movie. In his three-hour epic, director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) tries to do for the land down under what Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” did for New Zealand. Namely, plenty of sweeping landscape shots that turn the country into a must-visit holiday destination overnight.