JACKI WEAVER’S chances of an Oscar nomination have firmed with a surprise win at the start of Hollywood’s awards season.
The star of Animal Kingdom won the best supporting actress award from the National Board of Review, a New York-based group of academics, film professionals and students.
Director David Michod’s crime thriller, which has her playing the sweetly smiling matriarch of a tough family, was also named one of the 10 best independent films.
Weaver, who is performing on stage in Sydney with Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, John Bell and Richard Roxburgh in Uncle Vanya, had been considered just an outside chance of an Oscar nomination given the Australian film’s limited profile in the US. But the win puts her firmly on the awards radar, especially given that the previous three winners have all gone on to Oscar nominations, with Penelope Cruz winning last year for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
”When I first got the news – I had about 20 messages and the same number of emails – I thought it was just a nomination,” Weaver said. ”But, no, it’s an actual win so I’m a little bit euphoric.”
The film’s American distributor, Sony Pictures Classics, wants her to head to the US for an awards campaign as soon as Uncle Vanya ends on January 1.
”It’s not just the Oscars,” Weaver said. ”It’s the Golden Globes and a couple of others as well.”
It will not be her last experience of Uncle Vanya though. Weaver said the Sydney Theatre Company production was likely to head to the US with its stellar cast next year.
An STC spokesman confirmed the company was negotiating for a season in the US.
The Review Board awards were also a triumph for The Social Network, which won film of the year, best director for David Fincher, best adapted screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and best actor for Jesse Eisenberg.
Best actress went to Lesley Manville for Another Year and best supporting actor to Christian Bale for The Fighter.
The other top independent films were Buried, Fish Tank, The Ghost Writer, Greenberg, Let Me In, Monsters, Please Give, Somewhere and Youth in Revolt.