The mega-budget extravagance of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby faces off against the meagre means of Kim Morduant’s The Rocket in what is shaping up as a David and Goliath arm-wrestle at this year’s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards.
Nominations for the 3rd annual industry sector backslap were announced today, with Ivan Sen’s Mystery Road, Tony Krawitz’s Dead Europe (5 nominations) and the anthology effort The Turning (7 nominations) rounding out most nods in the key categories.
Our most flamboyant director’s take on F Scott Fitzgerald’s very American literary classic divided critics but did enough to earn 14 nominations, the most of any film from the qualifying period. Amongst its noms are Film, Director, Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Actress (Carey Mulligan) and three names across the two supporting acting fields (Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and Elizabeth Debicki). As expected, the state of the art production dominated the technical sections, with costume design, production design, sound and editing all honoured. Craig Armstrong’s music and Luhrmann and Craig Pearce’s adapted screenplay are also in the running.
MIFF’s Audience award winner, The Rocket (pictured, right), nabbed 11 nominations, including Film, Director and Original Screenplay. The film’s diminutive and charismatic leading man, Sitthiphon Disamoe, scored a Best Actor nomination (a category that he has already won, at the Tribeca Film Festival). Co-star Alice Keohavong snared a Supporting Actress mention; Thep Phongam, so memorable as ‘Uncle Purple’, is Supporting Actor nominated.
The Rocket is one of the films that explore the plight of indigenous cultures that have been recognised by the AACTA voting committee. Ivan Sen’s crime thriller Mystery Road (6 nominations) and Catriona McKenzie’s Satellite Boy (2 nominations) are contenders, as is Rodd Rathjen’s Himalayan-set story of personal discovery, Tau Seru (Small Yellow Field), which is vying for Best Short Fiction Film honours.
No doubt surprising some but delighting many of those that saw the film was the recognition afforded Colin and Cameron Cairnes pitch-black horror-comedy 100 Bloody Acres, which snared Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Angus Sampson; pictured, left) nods. Categories were further filled out by Mark Lamprell’s Goddess (3 nominations), Anne Fontaine’s Adoration (4 nominations) and Ben Nott and Morgan O’Neill’s Drift (4 nominations).
First among notable omissions must be Aaron Pedersen’s commanding lead turn in Mystery Road, along with stellar work by Robin Wright (Adoration), Damon Herriman and Anna McGahan (100 Bloody Acres), Judd Overton (DOP on Return to Nim’s Island) and several of the creative team behind Boyd Hicklin’s cricket comedy Save Your Legs.
The full list of nominees for the 2013 AACTA Awards, including Short Film, Documentary and Television categories can be found here.