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Oprah hearts the mess out of "Australia"

Posted by Wesley Morris  November 12, 2008 05:16 PM

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What an emotional week for the future secretary of taste-making. Last week her choice for president started packing up to move into the White House. And the other day, I had the bizarre experience of seeing her go bonkers over Baz Luhrmann's epic non-musical extravaganza "Australia." "It literally swept me off my feet," she enthused, which raises the important concern that Oprah Winfrey might be watching her movies standing up. (O, I think Mr. Man would be happy to have you sit on him next.)

In any case, the memory of Hugh Jackman shirtless gave her -- and her audience -- the vapors. She had her set done up to look like one of Luhrmann's. She waved her arms and yelled at us ("Was that a movie?! What that a movie?! Was. That. A. Movie?!" Lady, I haven't seen it yet!) It was thrilling. It was odd. Nicole Kidman looked simultaneously afraid and elated. But as is customary for the Winfrey experience, she also ambiguously opened up to her host about her love lives.

Eventually, Luhrmann arrived via satellite, and he looked confused, as though he couldn't believe this woman was as in love with his film as she appeared to be. (I confess she got me more excited than this trailer did.) Through it all, Luhrmann was a trooper. If he's smart, he'll change the name of his movie. I can see it now: "O-stralia!"

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

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