Australia and the United States are seemingly far apart, but these days, it''s not uncommon for Australian actors to work in Hollywood. Baz Luhrmann is one of Australia''s most successful international directors. Every time he does, it''s almost guaranteed his work will be worth watching.
Although his latest film, Elvis, depicts the life of Elvis Presley, played by Austin Butler, is no stranger to musical films. It''s a perfect time to get a look at Luhrmann''s filmography, which includes many well-rated films.
The IMDb scores indicate that the films are classified.
6 Australia (2008): 6.6
When Nicole Kidman arrived in his homeland, he directed this iconic romance drama that took place in the first half of the 20th century. She then returns to Australia and faces many challenges. Luckily, she employs a guy named Drover (Hugh Jackman) who might be the best fit to assist her.
The film has dramatic as well as romantic moments, and the main duo Kidman and Jackman create a believable friendship that doesn''t always go smoothly but builds a strong bond nonetheless. Australia has a fantastic setting, although it was not as financially successful as other Luhrmann films. A good idea is that Heath Ledger was originally assigned to The Dark Knight (2008), and instead assumed the role of Joker.
5 Romeo + Juliet (1996): 6.7
Baz Luhrmann is one of the directors who like to work with the same actors multiple times if their first collaboration worked out fine. One such actor is Leonardo DiCaprio. Although the Romeo and Juliet adaptation in the 1996 film is quite interesting, it remains the same as the previous: two young people who find their paths to each other despite initial difficulties... but their relationship will not most likely have a happy ending.
The titular roles of Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes get impressive performances. However, the roles, like with multiple films, might have been to different audiences. For example, actresses such as Natalie Portman, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Christina Ricci were all considered for the role before it went to Danes. Not everyone liked the fact that the film''s character was modernized, but most of the audience appreciated it.
4 Strictly Ballroom (1992): 7.2
The first feature film by Baz Luhrmann isn''t as well known as his later work, but it garnered positive ratings however. Strictly Ballroom is a romantic comedy about Scott, a guy who''s been working hard for a dance competition. When he has to collaborate with a new dance partner, Fran is in danger.
Although it''s possible to see how certain plot elements will be interpreted, Strictly Ballroom ultimately comes across as a feel-good film with excellent music. It already hints at the fact that music and dancing will play an important part in several of Luhrmann''s future movies. This film has been won several BAFTA accolades.
3 The Great Gatsby (2013): 7.2
Baz Luhrmann, once more, demonstrated that he mastered portraying times long gone, the atmosphere of the past. Inspired by Francis Scott Fitzgerald''s iconic novel, The Great Gatsby focuses on three individuals who grow close while they lead their happy, mostly careless lives... or so it would, except nothing''s as perfect as they wish.
The story is often unpredictable, and it''s interesting to see how the characters'' lives evolved. The film also features many well-known actors, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, and Elizabeth Debicki, who won both awards, including the one for the best costumes. It''s also visually stunning as a whole.
2 Moulin Rouge! (2001): 7.6
Moulin Rouge! is still Luhrmann''s most famous film, and the tragic love story between Nicole Kidman''s Satine and Ewan McGregor continues to touch viewers. It is set in Paris in 1900, and it is filled with stunning music and visual, something that is remarkably common for Baz Luhrmann''s movies.
What makes this film even more memorable is how it combines modern music and a historical setting into a coherent whole. Moulin Rouge! was a success as it was nominated for eight Oscars, winning two.
1 Elvis (2022): 7.8
It''s likely that the overall rating of the IMDb film may not change, given that even more, Elvis Presley is well known to music enthusiasts, but this film, inspired by real events, shows a different part of his life that not everyone might know. It also demonstrates the complex relationship between Elvis and his manager Tom Parker.
Both Austin Butler and Tom Hanks who played Parker have a fantastic story, but Parker isn''t very likable, which makes the narration even more fascinating. Although it''s difficult to predict the future, it''s not a stretch to imagine that Elvis might easily win an Oscar nomination in the future.