The Daily Telegraph
October 29, 2015
Two Australian films produced by Hollywood studios — The Dressmaker andMad Max: Fury Road — have dominated the feature film nominations for the fifth AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) awards.
And the Seven drama Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door and Foxtel’s Deadline Gallipoli have trumped recent ABC dramas with 10 and eight nominations respectively.
The ABC swamped the television categories with 50 nominations overall, including five for children’s channel ABC3, with The Secret River earning eight nominations, indigenous drama Redfern Now: Promise Me grabbing seven and the series about the Rudd and Gillard prime ministerships, The Killing Season, four nominations.
Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker was arguably a surprising leader in the feature film category, amassing 12 nominations including a lead actress nomination for Kate Winslet and supporting actor and actress nods for four-time winner Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis, vying for her eighth AFI/AACTA award, and Sarah Snook, who also has been nominated in the lead actress in a television drama category for The Secret River.
Mad Max: Fury Road grabbed 11 nominations, including one for lead actress for Charlize Theron and a director’s nod for George Miller. Those two films will vie with box-office hits Last Cab to Darwin and Paper Planes, and Holding the Man for the major best film prize. How the academy’s voters will compare the relative merits of Miller’s global blockbuster with the other best film nominees will be a key question of the December 9 main AACTA awards ceremony (the AACTA “industry” awards for technical and lower-profile categories will be handed out at a November 30 function). It is hardly comparing apples with oranges, with Mad Max: Fury Road’s budget 20 times the budget of a contender such as Last Cab to Darwin.
That adaptation of a stage play, which has earned $7.25 million at the box office, garnered eight nominations, including acting nods for leads Michael Caton and Ningali Lawford-Wolf and supports Mark Coles Smith and Emma Hamilton.
Another stage adaptation, Holding the Man, earned six nominations, including acting nominations for Ryan Corr and Anthony LaPaglia, while Cut Snake, which tanked at the box office, surprised with five nominations, including one for lead Sullivan Stapleton.
Another box-office hit, Paper Planes, earned five nominations, including another for triple AFI/AACTA award winner Deborah Mailman. Partisan, with four nominations, and Ruben Guthrie, with three, are the only other multiple nominees.
The third highest grossing Australian film of the year, Oddball, which this week passed the $10m mark at the box office, earned one nomination, for Damian Wyvill’s cinematography.
Nevertheless, the nominations are split in a manner that represents the diversity in quality and success of Australian films in this calendar year. Already, the total box-office take of Australian films has surpassed the all-time record of $64m, with The Dressmaker’s release in two weeks likely to push it higher.
Typical of the diversity is the best director category, which will be fought betweenThe Dressmaker’s Moorhouse, Mad Max’s Miller, Last Cab to Darwin’s Jeremy Sims and Holding the Man’s Neil Armfield.
Several old stagers continue to rack up nominations. The Dressmaker’s Jill Bilcock could win her seventh AFI/AACTA for editing, and production designer Roger Ford could win his fourth. Academy Award winner John Seale could win another cinematography award for his work on Mad Max: Fury Road against Donald McAlpine, up for his fourth AFI/AACTA.
At the other end of a career, Joel Jackson will compete against himself in the best lead actor in a television drama category for, incredibly, his first and second screen performances, as journalist Charles Bean in Foxtel’s Deadline Gallipoli and as Peter Allen in the hit Seven series.
The blue riband TV category is the AACTA award for best telefeature or miniseries, which features Seven’s Peter Allen biopic, SBS’s The Principal, ABC’s The Secret River and the Foxtel/BBC collaboration Banished.
The TV categories threw up a few more curly nominations than feature film, with low-rating ABC drama Glitch nominated as best TV drama (against Love Child,Wentworth and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries). Other strong contenders for the award but not nominated, Nine’s House of Hancock and Gallipoli, split only three nominations between them (including Peta Sergeant’s lead actress nomination for her performance as Rose Porteous).
Foxtel got 16 nominations overall, SBS 13, Seven 12, Nine six and Ten one.