This is a bit off-topic but the Faraway Downs mini-series is so Australian, I just had to share.
Faraway Downs is set in Australia and consists of six episodes featuring a who’s who of Australian actors, including the ever-lovely Nicole Kidman, the multi-talented Hugh Jackman, evergreen Bryan Brown, veteran Jack Thompson, and popular indigenous actor David Gulpilil. Written and directed by the talented Baz Luhrmann, the story is set in far north Australia at the start of World War II culminating in the bombing of Darwin.
Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) is living in England estranged from her husband who owns and operates a huge property in the Australian outback. On a whim, Lady Sarah decides to travel to Australia to confront her wayward husband and sell Faraway Downs. However, she soon learns that her husband is dead and a ruthless Australian cattle baron, King Carney (Bryan Brown), is plotting to take her land so she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn cattle drover (Hugh Jackman) to protect her ranch.
Faraway Downs is a sweeping adventure/romance complete with villains and heroes. At times humorous and other times sad, always entertaining. Baz Luhrmann has done a fantastic job with the storyline, not only depicting the Australian characteristics with frightening accuracy but also managing to introduce insights into our indigenous people’s culture as well as the regrettable racism that was rampant at the time. The scenery encompasses a fantastic montage of the Australian outback, alternating between awe-inspiring and bleak and deadly.
Now, I found the first episode somewhat confusing. Confusing as in what the whole thing was trying to be. To me, it came across as somewhat slapstick comedy and, I’ll admit, I was on the verge of giving the whole thing a flick. I am so glad I didn’t. From episode two and on, the story evolves into a wonderful tale of treachery, love, and drama. So, please do persevere.
My lovely wife and I thoroughly enjoyed Faraway Downs. Like a good book, we could not put it down and binge-watched the entire series in an afternoon. Faraway Downs is available to stream for free in Australia on Disney+. Of course, that is open to vary depending on countries of residence.
My rating… a solid 4/5 stars.