Pre-WW2 western romance put up against a great historical background with vast landscapes is what epic films are made of and Hugh Jackman looks like a young romantic Clint Eastwood and fits this project perfectly. Baz Luhrman decide to go for tons of soap operatic, melodramatic and dangerous life-and-death situations which ruin some of the more interesting dramatic beats in the film and Nicole Kidman overact.
I seriously spent hours wondering why it doesn't work: Baz' overreaching vision. He wants to achieve a lot, as seen by the many moments that recall those big sprawling epics he set out to make. The story is the weakest part, an egregious mix of genres that does not work. The cinematography was bad. There were a lot pf composed shots. If you can't shoot it, then having to do it with CGI feels like a cop out.
A bloated and overblown yet watchable tribute/parody of Australian tourist kitsch with a charmingly silly, bizarre sense of humour about itself and its cartoonish, almost vulgar melodrama. How anyone could take this seriously is beyond me (hell even Nicole Kidman knowingly takes the piss out of herself and her frigid public image).
Translates many classic Hollywood tropes to Australian settings deftly; basically, this movie is shot to stand beside such things as Giant, North to Alaska, and From Here to Eternity, which is unfortunately a dramatic style we've grown out of. Possibly not intended, but points out that Hollywood could have easily had its geographic incentives in that continent as well as the North American. --PolarisDiB