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Animal Kingdom scoops the 2010 AFI Awards

December 12, 2010

Australia’s version of the Oscars – the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards – was held last night and, as my post title announces, Animal Kingdom (which I reviewed a few months ago) won, deservedly I think, almost every major category . The major awards were as follows:

BEST FILM: Animal Kingdom
BEST DIRECTION: David Michôd, Animal Kingdom
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: David Michôd, Animal Kingdom
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Stuart Beattie, Tomorrow When the War Began
BEST LEAD ACTOR: Ben Mendelsohn, Animal Kingdom
BEST LEAD ACTRESS: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Joel Edgerton, Animal Kingdom
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Deborah Mailman, Bran Nue Dae (also reviewed)


Pilbara, near Newman, WA

In the Pilbara (part of the homelands of the Martu people) taken by me in April this year.


Animal Kingdom is one of the grittiest films I’ve seen this year, while Bran Nue Dae has to have been the cheeriest. In between these two on the “grittiness” continuum is Bright Star, another favourite of mine from this year’s awards. It received multiple nominations and won in three categories: Best Cinematography (Greig Fraser), Best Production Design (Janet Patterson), and Best Costume Design (also Janet Patterson).

Finally, I was pleased to see that Contact won the Feature Length Documentary award. It tells the story of the first contact a group of indigenous Martu people had with white society in 1964. At the time, they were one of the last – if not the last – indigenous Australians to still be living traditionally with no knowledge of or contact with modern Australia. Amazing, eh? Just shows how big – and empty – Australia is.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2010 22:40

    And I saw Tomorrow When the War Began, so between us we covered everything, right? 😀

  2. December 13, 2010 04:21

    I was really glad to see this post this morning. Animal Kingdom was one of the best crime films I watched this year (I watch a great deal of them, so I’d have to chew it over before I say it’s the best I saw–I suspect it is).

    • December 13, 2010 10:41

      You were one of the reasons I decided to post it – because I suspected such news may not get to you quickly. That is great praise. I watch the odd – and perhaps I use the word in its multiple meanings! – crime film and I did find this one – well it’s hard to find a word that isn’t cliched. But the script, acting, music/sound design, cinematography etc were just so spot on… We came out of the movie silent for a while. It was a great role for Jacki Weaver too – great to see older actresses getting such meaty parts.

  3. December 13, 2010 11:15

    Thanks! I don’t pay a great deal of attention to awards as these things usually dissolve into poncy, circle jerks. This one is well-deserved.

  4. December 18, 2010 16:13

    I am soooo hanging out to see this film.

    Interesting to see that Jacqui Weaver has been nominated for a Golden Globe… will an Oscar nomination follow me wonders…?

    • December 18, 2010 16:39

      Oh, I do hope you get to see it soon. I’m thrilled about the Golden Globe nomination and surely it augurs well for the Oscars. Just to be nominated would be wonderful.

      • December 19, 2010 13:35

        Went to dinner party last night and Aussie friend has promised to lend me his DVD!

        • December 19, 2010 20:36

          Great … if you don’t review it on your blog, come back here and tell me what you think when, that is, he lends it to you)

  5. January 27, 2011 04:01

    I’m sure you’re glad about Jackie Weaver’s Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actress. We haven’t even had the chance to see the film, or maybe I’d missed it. I hope I can watch it before the Oscars. Also, Guy Pearce is Australian too, isn’t he? He’s in both Animal Kingdom and TKS. He’s really good in TKS. His own speech is excellent too in the film.

    • January 27, 2011 08:45

      Yes, thrilled about Jacki because she’s one of those hard-workers in our industry who was well-known in the past but as she’s got older has been less in the public eye. I think she did an amazing job in this film. Being nominated is an absolute thrill for her.

      Yes, Guy Pearce is Australian too (well, born in England but here since a toddler) … and is always good to watch. Unlike Jacki, he’s worked in films around the world. He was one of the very unsettling things in The Hurt Locker – do you remember his role?

      • January 27, 2011 16:17

        Yes… of course… he’s Staff Sergeant Thompson… too bad didn’t have too long an appearance. I think Kathryn Bigelow is very talented. I hope you can watch as many of these 10 nominees as you can before the Oscars. But for enjoyment, I’d have to say The King’s Speech is the one… hands down. 😉

        • January 27, 2011 22:53

          Yes … and I couldn’t believe anything would happen to him. Such a clever, clever start!

          As for the Oscars … always so hard, but I’d be thrilled to see The King’s speech win.

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