Baz Luhrmann Clarifies: Australia Still Not Finished

Alex Carnevale · 11/13/08 12:14PM

The producers and the director of the Nicole Kidman-Hugh Jackman epic Australia are on the same page — just days before its Australian premiere on Tuesday, Australia isn't done. Luhrmann renewed the debate over exactly how unfinished the film is on the LAT's The Envelope blog, revealing that at the end of the "emotional cinematic banquet" there will be a death of some kind, even if he's not quite sure yet who buys it. Meanwhile, Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman tried to dismiss the controversy over the $130 million dollar film's "six endings." This barely counts as optimism when it comes to the film's still-ongoing editing process. Since they are shutting down a street in Sydney for the premiere, should the local authorities prepare for a riot or can Luhrmann deliver in time?When Luhrmann was palling around at the MoMA the other night, he was either joking about how pressing the situation was, or speaking the frightening truth: "We're right up against it, I literally have to on Friday night push that button." He admitted he's given himself 24 hours at the 'mixing desk' to put the film together. "This is really dangerous, I hope there's no problem with the plane going back," he managed.

Australia Longs For A Happy Ending

Alex Carnevale · 11/11/08 03:32PM

Two weeks before Australia's Nov. 26 release date, Moulin Rouge! director Baz Luhrmann, who's worked four years on the $130 million dollar production set in the Outback, still doesn't know what movie he's making. After a rough cut was recently screened for critics who hated the film's downer ending, the studio reacted by putting pressure on Luhrmann to alter Australia. Fox is more keen on recouping the film's massive budget with what it hopes is a traditional crowd-pleaser. It appears Luhrmann has already complied with their demands, but is Australia destined to die even if its lead characters don't?Reports from the Australian Sunday Telegraph were that critics blanched at the unhappy ending of the 3-hour epic, and overall reaction in the film's native country has been harsh. The film has already been plagued by the idea its nationalist angle will hurt foreign box office. Scrutiny about the film's ending aside, when you don't have a cut everyone is satisfied with this late in the process, how can you expect audiences to buy into it?