The first audience to see the finished version of Australia should be drunkenly stumbling out of the afterparty right about now in Sydney, where Baz Luhrmann's $130 million epic held its world premiere today. Early reviews from the homeland are mixed ("While it will be very popular with many people I think there's a slight air of disappointment after it all," notes The Australian), putting Fox on edge for this weekend's first American press screenings and underscoring downswung star Nicole Kidman's red-carpet threat to walk away from the whole sordid business:
The Oscar-winning actress [...] acknowledged some of her recent films had not been a great success, saying she had "quirky taste." "In terms of my future as an actor and stuff, I don't know," she told a news conference. "I am in a place in my life where ... I've had some great opportunities and I may just choose to have some more children. I've no idea what is in my future but I am very at peace with where I want to be. There are many things I want to do besides act."
Great. Kidman joins Angelina Jolie, Joaquin Phoenix and a surprisingly large surge of others currently diagramming their escapes from Hollywood — a celebrity trend we prefer to, say, Malawian adoption safaris, but which nevertheless gives us bittersweet pause. After all, for every break this might accord Naomi Watts, we just know Andy Dick is in a conference room somewhere slobbering through a callback for Captain America. Let's hope cooler heads prevail, even if Australia's box-office prospects don't. [Photo: Getty Images]