SYDNEY — The gritty and the confrontational led the way in this year’s nominations for the 40th annual Australian Film Institute Awards, which honors Oz’s best in film and television.
“The Boys,” a piercingly dark drama, swept the board with 13 nominations for best film, direction (Rowan Woods), adapted screenplay, actress (Lynette Curran), actor (David Wenham), supporting actress (Toni Collette), supporting actor (John Polson, Anthony Hayes), editing, cinematography, original score, costume design and sound.
Next was “Head On,” an explicit portrait of a gay man’s drug and sex binge, with nine noms for best film, direction (Ana Kokkinos), adapted screenplay, actor (Alex Dimitriades), supporting actor (Paul Capsis), editing, original score, costume design and sound.
Gritty psychological drama “The Interview” tied with nine noms for best film, direction (Craig Monahan), original screenplay, actor (Hugo Weaving), cinematography, editing, original score, production design, and sound, while Aboriginal drama “Radiance” scored six noms for best film, direction (Rachel Perkins), adapted screenplay, actress (Deborah Mailman), editing and production design.
There was some light relief with the nominees for best foreign film: Peter Catteneo’s Brit hit “The Full Monty,” Curtis Hanson’s “L.A. Confidential,” Ang Lee’s “The Ice Storm” and Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun.”
Notable nominees for their work on box office flops were Laura Jones for her screenplay adaptation of “Oscar and Lucinda” (which scored seven noms, including cinematography, original score, production design, costume design, sound and Cate Blanchett for best actress); Geoffrey Rush for best actor in “A Little Bit of Soul”; and Rachel Griffiths for best actress in “Amy” (also nominated for original screenplay).
Other film nominees include “In the Winter Dark” (Ray Barrett for best actor, Miranda Otto for best actress, and cinematography), “Dance Me to My Song” (original screenplay and Rena Owen for supporting actress) and Terra Nova” (Angela Punch McGregor for supporting actress).
Gritty themes also ruled TV noms, with hard-hitting police drama “Wildside” topping the pool with six nods, followed by forensic psychology movie franchise “Halifax fp” with five. “The Violent Earth,” a miniseries about French colonialism in the South Pacific, tied with light drama “Seachange” with three.
The Nov. 7 awards will be broadcast live on pubcaster SBS.