Rated 3.0

Baz Luhrmann’s new movie is too extravagantly silly to be taken seriously, and too gloriously goofy and sprawlingly ambitious to be ignored, let alone not enjoyed. The wildly melodramatic plot approaches flame-out more than once, but the unflagging energy of Luhrmann and company remains engaging, more or less, throughout. A recently widowed British lady (Nicole Kidman) is trying to save her late husband’s cattle ranch in Australia’s northern territories on the eve of World War II; a lone-wolf cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) comes to her aid and eventually falls in love with her; a mixed-blood aborigine child, Nullah (Brandon Walters), with a gift for wizardry, narrates key parts of the story; the lady and the drover give him crucial protection from the ravages of war and racism, thus allowing him to continue the spiritual journey he has begun under the tutelage of his heroically mystical grandfather (David Gulpilil). Feather River Cinemas, Paradise Cinema 7 and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13