Australia is a 2008 Australian epic romance film directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. The screenplay was written by Luhrmann and screenwriter Stuart Beattie, with Ronald Harwood. The film is a character story, set between 1939 and 1942 against a dramatised backdrop of events across Northern Australia at the time, such as the bombing of Darwin during World War II. Production took place in Sydney, Darwin, Kununurra, and Bowen. The movie was to be released on 13 November 2008 in Australia and 16 November 2008 in the United States; however, Fox announced that it had pushed back the release dates in both Australia and the United States to 26 November 2008, with subsequent worldwide release dates throughout late December 2008 and January and February 2009.
In 1939, Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman) travels from England to northern Australia to force her (in her opinion) philandering husband to sell his faltering Australian cattle station, Faraway Downs. Her husband sends an independent cattle drover (Hugh Jackman), called simply "Drover", to Darwin to transport her to Faraway Downs. Lady Sarah's husband, who has been working hard to sell 1500 head of cattle to the military, is murdered shortly before she arrives. Meanwhile, treacherous FD cattle station manager Neil Fletcher (David Wenham) is trying to gain control of Faraway Downs, so that neighboring Lesley 'King' Carney (Bryan Brown) can have a cattle monopoly in the Northern Territory, which will give him negotiating leverage with the Australian army. Fletcher also claims to Lady Sarah that the murderer of her husband is anAboriginal elder with magical powers, "King George" (David Gulpilil).
The childless Lady Sarah is captivated by the young boy Nullah (Brandon Walters), who was born to an Aboriginal mother and an unknown white father. Nullah tells her that he has seen her cattle being driven onto Carney's land — in other words, stolen from her. Because of this, Fletcher mistreats Nullah and threatens him and his mother, after which Lady Sarah fires Fletcher and decides to try and run the cattle station herself. When Nullah and his mother hide from the white authorities by entering a water tower, his mother drowns. Lady Sarah comforts Nullah by singing the song "Over the Rainbow" from the film The Wizard of Oz. Nullah tells her that "King George" is his grandfather, and that like "King George" he too is a "magic man".
Lady Sarah persuades Drover to take the cattle to Darwin for sale. Drover, a white man, is friendly with the Aborigines, and therefore shunned by many of the other whites in the territory. It is revealed that he had married an Aboriginal woman, but she had died after being refused medical treatment in a local hospital because of her race. Drover leads a team of six other riders, including Lady Sarah, Drover's Aboriginal brother-in-law Magarri (David Ngoombujarra), Nullah, and the station's accountant Kipling Flynn (Jack Thompson), to drive the 1,500 cattle to Darwin. Carney's men set large fires to make the cattle stampede, and Flynn is killed. However, at the last minute, Nullah stops the cattle from stampeding over a cliff, by apparently using magic learned from his grandfather. Lady Sarah and Drover develop a romance, and she gains a new appreciation for the Australian territory. But Carney's men poison all the water sources along the cattle-drive route, so the group risks driving the cattle through the dangerous Never Never desert, which they accomplish with the help of "King George". Then, when at last delivering the cattle in Darwin, the group has to race them onto the ship before Carney's cattle are loaded.
Two years pass and Lady Sarah, Nullah, and Drover live together happily at Faraway Downs. However, Fletcher kills Carney and frames it as a tragic accident, marries his daughter Cath Carney, takes over Carney's cattle empire, and then continues to menace Lady Sarah. It is determined that Fletcher was the actual murderer of Lady Sarah's husband, and that Fletcher is also almost certainly the father of Nullah. Nullah is drawn to perform a ceremonial coming-of-age walkabout with his grandfather "King George", but is instead captured by the authorities and sent to live on Mission Island with the rest of the half-Aboriginal children (dubbed the "Stolen Generations"). Lady Sarah vows to find him again somehow, but first works as a radio operator in Darwin during the escalation of World War II. When the Japanese attack the island and Darwin in 1942, Lady Sarah fears that Nullah was killed.
Drover, who had quarrelled with Lady Sarah and had gone droving apparently never to return, hears (mistakenly) that she has been killed in the bombing of Darwin. (It is later revealed that the dead woman thought to be Sarah is in fact Catherine Fletcher, who had volunteered to take Sarah's shift at army radio headquarters so Sarah could go to Nullah earlier.) Drover finds out about Nullah's abduction to Mission Island, and sets out with Magarri and Ivan (the hotelier) to rescue Nullah and the other children from the island using a sailboat. Magarri sacrifices himself to buy the others more time during the escape, and is shot by the Japanese. The others all make it safely back to Darwin. Meanwhile, Lady Sarah has sold Faraway Downs to Fletcher, and is leaving the Northern Territory that morning, since she believes there is nothing more to hold her there. But when Drover and the children sail back into port at Darwin, Nullah plays his harmonica with the tune of "Over the Rainbow". Lady Sarah hears the music, abandons her trip, and the three are reunited. Fletcher, who knows Nullah is the one link to his disreputable past that can ruin him, and rails that the boy must have cursed him, attempts to shoot Nullah, but is speared by King George and falls dead.King George then states that Nullah is Fletchers son and his grandson in his native language. Lady Sarah, Drover, and Nullah return to the safety of remote Faraway Downs. On the way back to Faraway Downs, King George calls for Nullah, his grandson, to go walkabout. Lady Sarah embraces Nullah and then lets him go to his grandfather, who explains now they will return to his land, and then looking at Lady Sarah, says "our land".
*I was late to watch this movie, but hey, good movie will always be watch!! I think Nicole Kidman really bring out her character wonderfully and perfectly. From a high society's lady to someone to droves cattle. She really potrayed the character beautifully. And she's very beautiful! Btw, Hugh Jackman is handsome, with his muscles and the white suit he wore during the ball!