Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this historical melodrama stars popular Aussies Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, but even with that level of celebrity wattage, it's unlikely to attract tweens and younger teens. But older teens, especially mature girls, may be drawn to the romance that's played up in the advertising. The film deals with mature themes like racism, greed, war, class consciousness, and sexual politics. The violence is realistic and occasionally bloody -- characters are speared, shot, burned, drowned, and beaten. The characters' sexual chemistry and tension turns into several passionate kisses and a love-making scene in which bare shoulders, a man's chest, and a woman's underwear, back, and legs are all visible. The Northern Territory is portrayed as full of hard-drinking, aboriginal-hating men and demure, high-society couples. Mature teens who see the film are likely to learn about about Australia's role in World War II and how the country historically treated its indigenous people.
The film's stars have an electric chemistry that's accompanied by a lot of sexual tension. Jackman's character in particular is depicted as incredibly sexually attractive; there are several scenes of him shirtless. A scene in which a white man knocks on an aboriginal woman's door for sex (he's later shown buckling his belt, etc.) is somewhat disturbing. A couple passionately kisses several times and makes love on a bed, but there's no nudity. A woman takes a bath in front of a man (no camera shots below the shoulders). A boy is aware of sexual behavior and calls it "wrong-headed business."
Several scenes of disturbing violence, including two men being speared to death, one man getting thrown into crocodile-infested waters, a woman drowning, a man being trampled to death by a stampede of cows, a young boy being struck by an adult, World War II bombings/explosions, burned characters, and the death of a well-liked character. A few instances of violence are episodes of men sacrificing themselves to save other characters. A kangaroo is hunted, but the scene is played for laughs.
Lots of "crikey"; other language includes infrequent uses of words like "damn," "bloody," and "bastard." One use of "f--king." Several characters use disparaging terms to refer to aboriginal and half-aboriginal people, including "creamy."
The movie's historically accurate storyline -- in which half-aboriginal, half-white children are taken away from their homes and taught how to be domestic servants in white society -- is meant to teach an historical lesson about racism toward native cultures. Other messages include love triumphing against the odds and people finding family in unexpected places.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Australians are portrayed as hard drinking. Various adults drink hard liquor in and out of a pub. One man is known as a drunk and sneaks alcohol on most occasions.