Aussies at the Oscars.

With this years Emmys now over and Australian’s not faring well (except for crew on The Pacific), I thought I would blab about possible Oscar candidates for next years ceremony.

It is a slim bunch, with some unlikely to get a nod, but here are some possibiities.

GEOFFREY RUSH- Best Supporting Actor – “The King’s Speech”.

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This film could well be Oscar bait. It is period for a start, deals with the English Royal family and has a stellar English cast.

Telling the the story of the man who became King George IV (possible nomination for Colin Firth), the father of Queen Elizabeth II.  After his brother abdicates, George reluctantly assumes the throne. Plagued with a terrible stutter and considered unfit to be king, he engages the help of an unorthodox speech therapist  Lionel Logue (an Australian), played by Rush. As a result of an unlikely friendship, the king is able to find his voice and lead the country into war.

Playing Queen Elizabeth (later known to us as the Queen Mother) is Helena Bonham Carter, and playing King Edward III, who abdicates to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, is fellow Aussie Guy Pearce.

Depending on final producing credits, one can add Australian producer EMILE SHERMAN to the possible list, if the film gets a Best Picture nod.

NAOMI WATTS – Best Actress for “Fair Game”.

Although born in England we claim Naomi Watts as one of our own, she began her acting career here in Australia.

She plays former CIA agent Valerie Plame, who was ousted by the White House after her husband (played by Sean Penn) wrote a damning article in the New York Times, accusing the Bush administration of manipulating intelligence regarding weapons of mass distruction, to justify invading Iraq. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, to middling reviews, so I don’t like her chances.

NICOLE KIDMAN – Best Actress for “Rabbit Hole”.

Yes our Nic, *groan*.

Based on the Tony Award & Pulitzer Prize winning play. She plays the role of mother who’s perfect world is forever changed when her young son is killed  in a tragic car accident. As she redefines her place among friends and family, she finds solace in a mysterious relationship with the young driver of the car. Aaron Eckhart plays her husband. Sounds like Oscar bait to me. The film premieres at the Toronto film festival, so lets wait for the reviews to come in. Cynthia Nixon (Sex & The City) won a Tony award for playing the role on stage.

PETER WEIR – Director, Writer, Producer for ‘The Way Back”.

Long overdue to win an Oscar (with 6 nominations under his belt), I am sure Weir is in with a chance with this movie.

Here’s a brief synopsis:

When they escape a Siberian labor camp in 1940 seven courageous multi-national prisoners discover the true meaning of friendship as their epic journey takes them across thousands of miles of hostile terrain en-route to India and their freedom. – Pure Oscar Bait!

It has a strong cast – Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim (what a spunk) Sturgess, Saoirse Ronan. It opens in December for an Oscar qualifying run, with a wide release in January.

Aussies behinds the scenes on the film should also be considered for a nod.

RUSSELL BOYD (Cinematograpy) previous winner for Weir’s Master & Commander.

JOHN STODDART (Art Direction)


BURKHARD VON DALLWITZ (Music) – German Born but Aussie based.

LEE SMITH (Editor)

Smith should be a shoe in for a nomination for another film – Christophen Nolan’s Inception.

The cast of The Way Back.

JACKI WEAVER – Supporting Actress for “Animal Kingdom”.It is well known that I am a big fan of  this performance, and the actress herself.  One of Australia’s favorite performers, she is well loved and most deserving. Her chilling portrayal as the matriach of a Melbourne crime family will go down as one of the scariest on screen mothers ever. If she gets a serious campaign behind her from Sony Classics – the American distributor of the film, she’s in with a chance (even though at this time it is a long shot). She has been mentioned in a fair few blogspots. The film got stunning reviews across the board from US critics and is doing ok at the US box office ($372,500 and counting). My fingers are permanently crossed for this one. Go Jacki !

DAVID MICHOD – (Original Screenplay) for “Animal Kingdom”.

It’s a long shot but if AK has any other chance for a nom it is with the superb screenplay (arguably the films strongest point). Independent films do very well in this category, so don’t rule it out. Come to think of it AK should do really well at the Independent Spirit Awards, one of my favorite awards.

There are of course other candidates, but ones I don’t think have a great chance, so I won’t elaborate


MIA WASIKOWSKA  for “The Kids Are All Right”, with Julianne Moore in the same category – I doubt it. But believe me she will be walking the red carpet very soon.

I’ll make sure to keep you posted in the coming months as award season heats up.

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