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Entries in The Babadook (1)



Only a few short hours before the red carpet turns a muddy purple under the heels of Sydney’s sodden socialites (it has really rained this week), SCREEN-SPACE takes a last minute stab at who will take home an AACTA Award at tonight’s Oz industry gala event, to be hosted by AACTA ambassador Cate Blanchett (pictured, below; at the 2014 event) and actress Deborah Mailman… 

Nowhere is the paucity of well written female characters in modern cinema more evident than in this years’ Supporting Actress category. This in no way reflects on the nominees, who all gave fine performances, but closer inspection indicates that the material was pretty thin. Jacqueline McKenzie emoted her heart out in what amounted to about 40 seconds of screen time in The Water Diviner. Ditto the wonderful Susan Prior in The Rover; why she is not an awards-laden international star is incomprehensible given her talent and resume. It looks like two solid if slight comedy turns from Josh Lawson’s The Little Death will fight over this one. In a coin toss, Kate Mulvany over Erin James.
Who should win
– Angourie Rice who, as the innocent swept up in society’s destruction, was the heart and soul of Zak Hilditch’s otherwise grim These Final Hours. 

No such luck for The Little Death here – ensemble players TJ Power and Patrick Brammall will cancel themselves out. Kudos to Robert Pattinson for his bizarre, brazen psycho in David Michod’s The Rover, but it was a performance that earned just as many brickbats as bouquets. Veteran Turkish character actor Yilmaz Erdogan (pictured, right) thouroughly deserves the trophy for his stoic, honourable defeated warrior opposite Russell Crowe in The Water Diviner. One side note – why isn’t The Mule’s Hugo Weaving in this race?
Who should win
– Noah Wiseman, whose troubled, enigmatic, horrified character Samuel will rank alongside the kid stars of The Shining and Poltergeist as one of the horror genre’s MVPs.

What’s with all these acting noms for the raunchy sitcom vibe of The Little Death? Kate Box is making up numbers here. But a winner is much harder to pick from the remaining three nominees. If the night becomes a ‘Babadook Sweep’, Essie Davis will win and deservedly so. But Predestination has three tech awards already, so there’s a lot of love for Predestination, thanks in no small part the wonderful Sarah Snook. And there was a lot of early Oscar buzz for Mia Wasikowska’s transformative journey in John Curran’s Tracks…
Who should win
– A tie is not out of the question; Davis and Wasikowska might split it. We’ll lean towards Davis (pictured, left). 

The great skill of Russell Crowe’s performance in The Water Diviner is that he was able to rein in his movie-star grandness and play an everyman so convincingly. Did he make it look too easy, though? Damon Herriman is an industry favourite, but The Little Death won’t contest in this category (he should’ve been awarded for 100 Bloody Acres). The Rover’s Guy Pearce did his best Clint Eastwood and was very good at it. But with a Cannes gong and an APSA honour already to his name for Charlie’s Country, this is David Gulpilil’s night.
Who should win
– David Gulpilil. 

Rolf de Heer’s sublimely understated direction of his lead actor and friend in Charlie’s Country is superb, but the Best Original Screenplay award may be where his contribution is honoured. David Michod (The Rover) and brothers Michael and Ian Spierig (Predestination) have long, worthwhile careers ahead of them, but will take a back seat Jennifer Kent tonight. Horror is not always favoured by the high-minded who hand out industry kudos, but The Babadook is a superbly crafted, emotionally resonant work from an exciting new auteur.
Who should win
– Kent (pictured, right), but Zak Hilditch for the end-of-days thriller These Final Hours can feel unloved given the category had time travel, dystopian future and fairy tale horror contenders front and centre.

The lack of Best Director consideration will nix the night for The Water Diviner and The Railway Man; so too Tracks, though John Curran’s brilliant work was wrongfully snubbed. Charlie’s Country is a serious ‘actors’ piece, and will earn its trophy in that category. A week ago, The Babadook was a lock, it must be said, but Predestination’s slew of craft trophies may have tipped the scales back in in its favour.
Who should win – The Babadook.

The 4th annual AACTA Awards will be held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour precinct tonight.