Nicole Kidman in line for an Oscar nomination as Lion begins to roar
Oscar voting is still months away but the Australian film Lion is already firmly in contention for multiple nominations including best picture and best supporting actress for Nicole Kidman.
After acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, Variety has Garth Davis’ drama among 10 best picture nominees that also include Silence, LaLa Land, Fences, Manchester By The Sea and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
The showbiz paper also predicts another Oscar nod for Kidman – she won for The Hours in 2003 and has also been nominated for Moulin Rouge and Rabbit Hole – and a first nomination for Australian writer Luke Davies (Candy) for best adapted screenplay.
Dev Patel, who plays an Indian-Australian man who tracks down his birth mother in Calcutta using Google Earth, is considered an outside chance of a best actor nod for a film that opens in the US on November 25 then Australia on January 19. Kidman plays his adoptive mother.
Lion cinematographer Greig Fraser (Zero Dark Thirty) is also in the mix for a nomination.
Variety considers Mel Gibson’s war drama Hacksaw Ridge a “dark horse” for a best picture nod – shot in Australia, it opens on November 3 – and both Davis and Gibson similar outside chances of a best director nomination.
Also in Oscars contention are Joel Edgerton as best actor for Loving and Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan for best adapted screenplay for Hacksaw Ridge, with that WWII film also in the running for multiple technical awards including best sound editing.
Lively field for foreign language Oscar
Mungai Dain and Marie Wawa in Tanna.
As always a colourful batch of films is in the running for the best foreign language Oscar next year.
Australian entry Tanna, the Vanuatu tribal romance directed by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, is just one of 85 entries.
Among them are Boo Junfeng’s Apprentice from Singapore, a drama about an executioner that was partly shot in two decommissioned prisons in Australia, and Yemen’s first entry, Khadija Al-Salami’s I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced.
Among the established names in the running are Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World from Canada, Paul Verhoeven’s Elle from France, Asghar Farhadis’ The Salesman from Iran, Jonas Cuaron’s Desierto from Mexico – he’s Alfonso’s son – Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta from Spain, Martin Zandvliet’s Land of Mine from Denmark and the late Andrzej Wajda’s Afterimage from Poland.
Stephan Elliott is back shooting
As Thor: Ragnarok nears wrapping up on the Gold Coast, Stephan Elliott starts shooting what sounds like a lively new film next week.
Called Flammable Children and starring Guy Pearce, Kylie Minogue, Radha Mitchell, Asher Keddie, Julian McMahon and Jeremy Simms, it’s described as a poignant comedy set in an Australian beachside neighbourhood over summer in the 1970s – “a love letter to a world of careless parenting, constant sunburn and unsupervised activities”.
The story centres on a town hitting the spotlight when a huge whale is washed ashore.
More than two decades after breaking through with The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Flammable Children is Elliott’s first film since A Few Best Men in 2011.
Big role for Lucy Fry
Lucy Fry in Wolf Creek.
Rising Australian actress Lucy Fry, best known for the comedy Now Add Honey and the Wolf Creek TV series, has landed a role in the big budget fantasy thriller Bright opposite Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and Noomi Rapace.
She will play a young elf in a movie about a human (Smith) and an Orc (Edgerton) who have to outrun cops, criminals and various creatures to protect a magical wand.
Directed by David Ayer (Fury, Suicide Squad), Bright is described as Netflix’s biggest budget movie so far at $US90 million ($119 million).
Fry has also been in the American mini-series 11.22.63 as well as Bruce Beresford’s Mr Church and Greg McLean’s coming thriller The Darkness.
Contenders named for best casting
What makes a well-cast film or television show? It’s a fascinating question posed by the Casting Guild of Australia’s announcement of the nominees for the year’s best casting.
In feature film, the contenders are The Daughter (cast by Nikki Barrett), The Dressmaker (Christine King), Down Under (Stevie Ray and Kirsty McGregor) and Alex & Eve (Anousha Zarkesh).
In television drama, the nominees are Cleverman and Ready For This (both Zarkesh), Jack Irish (Barrett) and Doctor Doctor (McGregor).
As well as those three nominations, Zarkesh also has four other nominations for Rake and Black Comedy in TV comedy, The Principal in mini-series or telemovie and The Mother Situation in short film.
The awards will be held in Sydney on November 18.
Girl on the Train leaves station well
Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train. Photo: Dreamworks Pictures.
Despite mixed reviews, the Emily Blunt thriller The Girl On The Train opened solidly in Australian cinemas over the weekend. It took $4 million with an impressive average of $14,700 per cinema.
The other big movie to open, the Mark Wahlberg oil rig disaster movie Deepwater Horizon, underachieved with $1.7 million and an average of $6800.
On a flat weekend for ticket sales, The Secret Life of Pets reached an impressive $27.7 million on its fifth weekend.
Finding Dory has officially cracked the top 10 of highest-grossing movies in this country, knocking off Crocodile Dundee from way back in 1986 by reaching $48.5 million. The list is headed by Avatar with $115.6 million.
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The story Nicole Kidman in line for an Oscar nomination as Lion begins to roar first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.