Australia director Baz Luhrmann admits he’s feeling the pressure for the film to succeed, but says it’s now up to the audience to decide its fate.
After much anticipation and speculation, the movie will have its world premiere in Sydney on Tuesday, where the cast will see the completed movie for the first time.
Luhrmann said he hoped Australians embraced the film which he created for young and old.
“Not everyone is going to love it. Not everyone is going to see it,” he told a press conference in Sydney on Tuesday.
“All you can do is do your best and invite everyone to the party. It’s time to get your party frock on.”
Australia follows the story of Lady Sarah Ashley, played by Nicole Kidman, who inherits a remote cattle station called Faraway Downs in the mid-1930s, before World War II.
When cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn drover, played by Hugh Jackman, to drive thousands of cattle across the country, only to face the bombing of Darwin by Japanese forces.
Luhrmann admitted the $130 million film was a risk, and he was prepared for some bad reviews as well as good.
“I can tell you right now that in America and the rest of the world, it’s not like `you must have the next sweeping epic’,” Luhrmann said.
“It takes courage.
“Really, there will be some of that (bad reviews), and there will be some people who really embrace it.”
Luhrmann only put the final touches on the film 48 hours ago, and joked he had to be dragged away from it.
Jackman said it was the greatest role he’s ever had, while Kidman, who worked with Luhrmann on Moulin Rouge!, said it was the film she had always dreamed of making.
“I love working with Baz. Creatively, he is my soulmate,” Kidman said.
Of her famed kissing scene with Jackman, Kidman said: “Obviously, we were in character, but it was good to go to work”.
The film is also set to turn 13-year-old Brandon Walters, who plays half-Aboriginal, half-Caucasian orphan, into a star.
Kidman spoke of her fondness for Walters and put a protective arm around the shy actor as he faced the media spotlight for the first time at a press call on Tuesday.
“I feel very protective,” she said.
“And I’ve said this to a lot of people, we’ve talked about it – if the film does really well, he’s going to need a lot of protection.”
Kidman said she hoped all of Australia would celebrate the release of the film, which has the hopes of the Australian film and tourism industries riding on it.
“This is a celebration for me and hopefully for this country,” Kidman said.
“It’s not meant to be the second coming. But it is meant to be: let’s have fun and enjoy it.”
Australia opens nationally on November 26.