Predestination, The Water Diviner and The Rover have been announced as the most strongly represented films among the nominees for the fourth annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Awards (AACTAs), with The Babadook, The Railway Man, Charlie’s Country and Tracks also prominent in the mix. All of these but The Rover make up the films vying for the Best Film prize.
For the documentary stream, Venice Film Festival award winner Ukraine is Not a Brothel is up for six nominations.1 This makes it the lead cinema release there ahead of All This Mayhem, which ties with the Antenna Festival prize-winning Sons & Mothers, the funereal ABC doco Tender and the James Cameron-starring Deepsea Challenge 3D for four nominations.
The frontrunner of the feature films is Predestination, the Ethan Hawke-starring time travel tale, with a whopping nine nominations that include two for the Spierig Brothers under Best Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay, Sarah Snook for Best Lead Actress and the complete slate of crew categories. Russell Crowe’s directing debut comes close behind at eight, netting acting nominations for Crowe and two members of his supporting cast, along with nods for screenplay, editing, production design and costume design. David Michôd’s sophomore feature The Rover makes up for its curious Best Film absence with seven appearances elsewhere, including acting awards for Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce and Susan Prior.
The most attention-grabbing nominations are those given to sex comedy The Little Death, which is ruling the roost within the acting lineup by having two cast members in the mix for each of the Supporting acting categories. These include TJ Power and Erin James, the signing couple at the centre of the film’s commonly-praised final sequence, as well as Damon Herriman and three other members of the Josh Lawson-directed ensemble. It has thus been edged up to six nominations without appearing in any non-acting categories.
Other films making frequent appearances include Jennifer Kent’s horror film The Babadook and Rolf de Heer’s Charlie’s Country (six and five respectively), which both have runs at Lead Acting, Direction and Screenplay awards. The former has nominations for its stark production design and editing, and would add such accolades to a glowing international reception. The latter has landed a Best Lead Actor nomination for David Gulpilil, who won an equivalent prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes earlier this year.2 Meanwhile, the Colin Firth-starring The Railway Man has been represented in six categories, and is also the sole contender with Predestination for the Best Adapted Screenplay prize.
Less ubiquitous films include the Robyn Davidson biopic Tracks (four nods, including Mia Wasikowsa for Best Lead Actress), the coming-of-age story 52 Tuesdays (Original Screenplay and Editing), Sydney Film Festival prize contender Fell (Cinematography), Craig Monahan’s Healing (Score) and Matthew Saville’s Felony (Sound). Gracie Otto’s The Last Impresario has also popped up in the Best Documentary Feature category.3
The complete list of nominations can be found on the AACTA site here.