Thursday, November 13, 2008

How Many Licks Does It Take...


... to get to the center of Baz Luhrmann's Australia anyway? JA from MNPP here, just wondering. The big honking Down Under premiere is literally four days away and Baz is still editing. Editing! He's filmed a thousand different endings, and apparently nothing sticks. Do we, the expectant fans, panic? Or do we help a brother out?

I think y'all know the answer. Baz needs our help! Sure, none of us have seen any of the film beyond the trailer, but I have a feeling there are certain genre tropes of the Epic Romance that will be fulfilled, so we can probably feel out, at least partially, some of the steps the story goes through. Nicole wants to be a strong woman who can survive on her own! Hugh is the big man who thinks she's a little too far out of her comfort zone! They bicker, they flirt, they make blinding lust shoot off the screen in a rainbow of sparks. Something biggish, a war with large planes and booming sound effects, erupts! Oh noes will our lovers end up together?

And then... what? What is the only way you can imagine the movie ending that would leave you satisfied? Here's mine:

Hugh walks into a burning building, looking for Nicole whom he knows to be trapped inside because she's protecting an endangered Aborigine child whose family was murdered by some evil land barons. Hugh screams her name... nothing. He's sweating profusely... his shirt catches on fire so he rips it off. A beam falls at him, and he tumbles backwards... and falls right through the movie screen like Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo. I run forward, sweep him up into my arms, and carry him off into the sunset. Roll credits.

Your turn!



omg how could i top this?

but i want to hear other people try.

Anonymous said...

The same, only with Nicole and Hugh's roles switched.

Anonymous said...

Hey, the official Australia movie website is finally live!

abstew said...

then hugh grabs a flag and declares, 'this land is mine! mine by destiny'
'go on, joseph...i mean, drover/hugh, claim your oklahoma land, er australia'.
but then greg from dharma and greg kills him when a horse falls on him and he hits his head on a stone.'
nicole: 'i've loved you. i've loved you since the moment i saw you.'
then hugh comes back to life, 'i've often wondered about that.'
10 years later, after nicole skins a lamb, the two of them have dinner on cold mountain with their daughter grace, the neighbhoor from EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, who is now a mute, and a troll who is married to a member of the white stripes.
and they lived happily ever after...until nicole died of consumption after a performance of SPECTACULAR! SPECTACULAR!
the end.


i know BAZ is fond of borrowing but... ;)

lawyer tony fernando said...

Hugh Jackman saves Nicole, child, country, universe, wherever else he,Logan,Wolverine or another name needs to do, then walks away, meet me, then...

Quoting Madonna: I´ll always have you inside of me...

Don´t we all want that?


ohnochriso said...

As long as it involves full frontal nudity on the part of Mr. Jackman, I am fine with that.

Cluster Funk said...

Why limit it to only frontal? (God, so provincial! ;-) Why not back-al, side-al, top-al, bottom-al, and any other angle that ends in "al," too?

To quote Chelsea Handler, I'm egalitarian that way.

Anonymous said...

he ship sings! Nicole will be like: come back! Come back! I can't help it but this film will blow!

Anonymous said...

What ever Baz does is fine by me. Anyway i reckon he's just havin' us on. It's ready to go and it's gunna be beaut.

Glenn said...

I actually have a theory on how the film will actually end, but I'm not saying.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. What ending did Oprah see?

Am I the only one who doesn't think Jackman is gorgeous? Great body but the face is nothing spectacular. I prefer Gylenhaal by far.



why noy have them both. when loving movie stars polyamory is the only way to go

Anonymous said...

Jackman is a fine man... a young Clint Eastwood and I like that!

I hope the movie will work but when you change the ending so many times, it seems that there's something wrong.

Well, we'll see.


i just hope there's a musical number squeezed in somewhere

Anonymous said...

Baz shot 3 endings, and Oprah saw the final one he is using.

MichaelMcl said...

Arrrrggghh! I wrote a beautiful ending for the film, but the post was lost as it took too long to write. Grrrr.

If I get time to do it again, I will send it by email, Nathaniel.

-The Opinionated Australian

MichaelMcl said...

AUSTRALIA (The Opinionated Australian's ending)

Nicole surveys the farm. It has taken a lot of hits over the years, and is far from being at its best. But they are on the way back. Finally.

A giggle draws her attention away from the paddocks. Aboriginal children chase the young lambs, cuddling the ones they capture. They are being watched over by Nell (INSERT MIDDLE AGED AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS WHO HASN'T AGED AS WELL AS OTHERS), still with the farm after all these years. Nell smiles, and starts hanging clothes on the clothesline.

Nicole walks up the steps to her father's house. Or it seems like her father's house, despite the fate of the latter. The new one is almost a replica of it. You can almost smell the timber. She opens the wire swing door. We feel the texture of her boots go from the hard wood porch to the carpeted interior.

In the kitchen, Hugh is standing at the window, enjoying a cuppa. She snuggles up to him from behind, gives him a kiss on the neck. He holds his hand in hers.

Hugh (softly): 'Quiet, isn't it?'

We hear aboriginal children and the bleating of lambs outside.

Nicole (almost a sigh): 'Yeah...'

There is a gentle breeze that strikes the wind chimes on the front porch.

She leaves him, and moves through the house to her bedroom, unhurried. Something catches her eye on the bed as she enters.

It is a porcelain object with the beautiful shape of three red roses on it. The third rose is the biggest.
She smiles at first, imagining who must have put it there. She sits on the bed.

The sound of the children begins to fade away under the wind.

She stops. The crystal object falls to the ground and shatters. Nicole has seen something else. In the mirror.

Hugh (off-screen): 'Everything ok?'

She gets to her feet and approaches the mirror. There is only the sound of the wind at the window. No children.

Track slowly around her as she approaches the mirror on her dresser. And then we see what she sees.

Looking back at her, with matching gestures and expression, is Bryce Dallas Howard.

We faintly hear the sounds of shovels and picks toiling the earth outside.
Grace (Nicole) is chilled. She had forgotten. Footsteps approach.

The shape of a man fills the foreground of the shot, "Grace, are you all right?"

It is not Hugh. It is Tom (Paul Bettany). She nods, not really meaning it, but trying to keep up with a situation which has transformed before her eyes.

Grace's heart is beating erratically. She turns back to her mirror, and Bryce is doing the same. She is gripped by this feeling of seeing herself in someone else.

Tom comes to the bed. He leans over, and picks up the pieces of the crystal object she dropped. The third rose remains intact.

Tom: 'It's a shame about this. One of the servants bought it for her little girl.'

Grace (confused): 'The servants?'

Tom (affirmingly): "They sought your permission to give it to her. I was inclined to say yes, but I guess we'll have to say no now."

There is a knowing smile on that last line. He comes behind her, puts his arms around her and kisses the back of her neck. He takes her hand, which is reluctant to clasp him.

He looks into the mirror - Grace does also. Now it is Paul and Nicole in there.

Tom: 'You do look lovely, Grace.'
(more businesslike) 'You should hurry up and get ready. Your father will be here soon, and he won't want to dilly-dally.'

Grace (re-acquainting herself with the role): 'I won't be long.'

He kisses her again, playfully and leaves the room.

Grace looks out the window. The sound of shovels continues, peppered with the occasional sound of a whip.

From outside, we pull up and away from the window to reveal the farm. The girl hanging clothes on the line has become Danny Glover. There are no aboriginal children playing, only ranks of black slaves and white masters toiling away in the fields.

And so, with a crane shot that fades as it goes ever wider, Lars von Trier's American trilogy comes to an audacious end. And how ironic it is, that a film nominally about Australia, turns out to have been a fantasy escape from the reality of America.


(Partly inspired by a recent viewing of a recent infamous comeback film from an American director.)