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Australia receives lavish UK premiere

Australia, UK premiere

Story by Jack Foley

NICOLE Kidman and Hugh Jackman braved London’s freezing conditions to step out on the red carpet at the UK premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s epic movie Australia on Wednesday, December 10, 2008.

The stars were joined by the director of the film, Luhrmann himself, as well as celebrities including Sir Elton John and Twiggy. And they spent time signing autographs and chatting to fans while a series of spectacular entertainments unfolded around them in Leicester Square.

Australia is a big-budget epic, set in the Northern Territory of Australia in the 1940s, that follows the unlikely romance between an English aristocrat (played by Kidman) and a cattle drover (Jackman).

It also stars child actor Brandon Walters in his very first acting performance, which critics have hailed, as well as Australian stalwarts Bryan Brown and Jack Davenport.

Kidman told reporters on the red carpet that she hoped it would make people fall in love with her country. She added: “I also hope they realise it’s funny and romantic and it’s a popcorn movie.”

Luhrmann, speaking at a press conference earlier in the week, said that the film harked back to a bygone era of filmmaking the like of which may never be seen again.

Hundreds of fans, meanwhile, jostled for position to catch a glimpse of Jackman, recently voted People magazine’s sexiest man 2008.

Australia cost an estimated $130 million (£85 million) to produce, making it the most expensive movie in Australian cinema history. It runs for almost three hours and opens in UK cinemas on December 26.

View photos from the red carpet