Sunday, February 8, 2009

Better than Tom Burlinson?? I submit to you that he is not.

For those who don't already see with crystal clarity what this post will be about: I saw the movie Australia this weekend. It was pretty good. I have not seen a new movie I enjoyed this much in a while. Everything about it just worked for me. The acting-watchable, camera work-wonderful, screenplay-fab. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman (both Australia native's) excelled as the leads, but worked seamlessly with the more minor actors. I found the thing to be absolutely visually stunning with believable characters (I actually felt like they had motivation... not everyone does anymore), and I spent most of the movie more than a little bit covetous of Nicole Kidman's wardrobe. Not to mention the natural scenery was, or course, brilliant. What do you expect, it was Australia for goodness sake! It was, in a word, epic.

It was quite an experience to watch it in a Provo theater though. I don't think I have ever seen a movie where the audience reacted so unanimously to everything as it happened. Which, while funny, would have been fine if they had been mature enough to realize the significance of things like, why the aboriginal man is standing funny. Not to be amusing, but because it's an aboriginal symbol of respect, power, and authority.

Finally, the crux of the issue. To make it understood, backstory:
so, I have in my possession a copy of both "The Man From Snowy River" and "Return to Snowy River." Both movies starring Tom Burlinson as the hero Jim Craig. When people comment on our movies, these recieve more positive reviews from both boys and girls than all the other movies combined. It seems to be the ultimate movie, allowing the romance plot for the women-folk, and (as my friend Joran informed me) it makes you feel like a man--go find a horse and just start riding down mountainsides. Understandable. Heck. If I had a horse and some training I would totally ride down mountainsides. Anyways. One of the beauties in this movie (for me) is that Tom Burlinson is forgotten. For all intents and purposes: he IS Jim Craig. No one even knows the actor's name. If you saw him in another movie you'd just say, "oh, it's the guy from Snowy River." (Be honest. You know you would). So, the point is, general consensus is Jim Craig appears to be the ultimate Australian hero.

Now the problem. For those who have seen the movie Australia, arguments could (and did--I heard it myself) be made that Hugh Jackman is better than Jim Craig. Hah. There in that sentence could be found the inherent flaw in the argument. Hugh Jackman (quite flawlessly) plays merely a role. Jim Craig IS a role. I mean, I know what they meant but seriously; the fact that we recognize one as an actor, and one as a character should make the better one seem clear. Now, the argument could be made that the Drover was a more developed character than Jim Craig, but who doesn't swoon when the man tips his hat? Moral of the story. Hugh Jackman is a wonderful actor who did a fabulous job portraying an Autralian bush-man. Jim Craig is an Australian bush man. The end.

I would apologize for not having a point, but who says life always has to have a point? That would be boring.

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