Tagged: The Nightingale

 

The red carpets have been rolled away and the gowns are back on their hangers. The Academy Awards are won and done for another year, and while film journalists right around the world have dissected and discussed every winner, every nomination there is something that has become crystal clear in the wash up, this year might be the year where the Oscars finally see a change occur that is long overdue.

On the surface it appears that change may have already occurred, but has it? Read most of the headlines the morning after this year’s Oscars and they all labelled the fact that South Korean film Parasite won Best Picture as the dawn of a new time in Hollywood, a time when films from right around the world now have more than a slight chance of walking away with the top Oscars on Academy Awards night.

But is that really the case? Let’s call it for what it is – the Oscars for a long time now have been a celebration of American films, not a celebration for international films like many would have believed. Yes there has been a Best Foreign Language section for awhile now but that always felt like a token award because if you really scratched under the surface you would find that filmmakers had to hurdle over each other to even earn a nomination. That award is now known as the Best International Feature Film Award which does make more sense given that even films from English speaking countries outside of America could also be nominated in the category, but that still doesn’t fix the biggest problem of all with the category.

Isn’t the fact that there is even a Best International Feature Film Award part of the problem? After all the Academy Awards are supposed to be a celebration of film – yet the mere fact that there is a Best International category means there is an instant separation from the American films also in the running for awards. That divide becomes even wider when you realise that in order for a film to be considered in the Best International Feature Film Award that film has to be submitted by the country where it originated. That’s right if a country like Thailand makes two great movies in one year – tough luck only one can be selected. America on the other hand can have as many films nominated as they wish.

When you consider the great films that have come out of countries like France and Germany over the years that ‘one film submission’ rule seems like a joke, but perhaps the biggest losers because of the rule this year were Thailand and Australia.

Thailand’s submission to the category this year was Sitisiri Mongolsiri’s Krasue: Inhuman Kiss while Australia’s submission was Buoyancy a film shot in Thailand with all the actors coming from Cambodia and Thailand. Neither film ended up making the short list of nominations for the actual Best International Award, but it is here where the murkiness of the Award are exposed.

To receive its submission Buoyancy defeated The Nightingale, there is nothing wrong with that but when you look at how both films were received by other Award ceremonies and by critics you see just how unfair it was that both films couldn’t be in the running for the major award.

Buoyancy explores the human rights issue of young Cambodians being forced to work as slaves in the Thai fishing industry which meant it was a powerful film that received a lot of praise. The film won awards at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Awards (AACTA) as well as earning awards in Mumbai, Berlin and Oslo. On the other hand The Nightingale looked at the harshness of living in colonial Tasmania including the brutal murders of the local Aboriginal people. Like Buoyancy it also received a lot of five star reviews and found itself winning a plethora of awards including six AACTAs and eight Australian Film Critics Association Awards. There is little argument that both were great films and should have equally had the right to be nominated for Best International Film yet somehow weren’t.

If you dig a little deeper the whole divide between how American cinema and International films at the Oscars became even wider. If Parasite was in the end considered such a great film by the Academy then how come none of its cast found themselves nominated for Best Actor or Best Actress? That point was also not lost on fans of the film Buoyancy who wondered why actors Sarm Heng and Thailand’s Thanawut Kasro didn’t receive nominations despite being praised world-wide for their intense roles in the film.

The host of popular film podcast The Popcorn Conspiracy Kyle McGrath recently talked about Kasro’s Oscar snub and said. “When you look at the performances in Buoyancy and you take the performance of Thanawut Kasro in the role of a Supporting Actor he was miles ahead of where Brad Pitt was in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. That is not to say that Brad Pitt didn’t deserve it but if I was going to pick between those two actors who gave the better performance it would have been Thanawut Kasro over Brad Pitt, but with the way it works at the moment perhaps it needs a little bit more work on how the voting system works.”

Will that voting system ever change? I guess the best answer to give to that question is – perhaps. Certainly Parasite doing so well may open up more opportunities for Asian cinema right around the world. Even in the past few months it has been interesting to see how many cinema lovers around the world have been eagerly anticipating the release of The Cave (another film that Thanawut Kasro appears in), but for international films to finally receive the recognition that they deserve it is time for the Oscars to place all films on a level playing field no matter what country they come from rather than it just be a celebration of American cinema like it is now.

Last night saw the 2020 Australian Film Critics Assocation (AFCA) Awards held in Melbourne at the beautiful Classic Cinemas. The Awards were presented by AFCA Chairman Adam Ross.

Here are the list of nominees and winners.

 

AUSTRALIAN CATEGORIES

 

BEST FILM

 

 

WINNER: The Nightingale

NOMINEES: Buoyancy, Hotel Mumbai, Judy & Punch, The King

 

BEST DIRECTOR

WINNER: Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch), David Michod (The King), Rodd Rathjen (Buoyancy), Thomas H Wright (Acute Misfortune)

 

BEST ACTOR

WINNER: Baykali Ganambarr (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Dev Patel (Hotel Mumbai), Sarim Heng (Buoyancy), Damon Herriman (Judy & Punch), Daniel Henshall (Acute Misfortune)

 

BEST ACTRESS

WINNER: Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Lupita N’yongo (Little Monsters), Teresa Palmer (Ride Like A Girl), Miranda Tapsell (Top End Wedding), Mia Wasikowska (Judy & Punch)

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

WINNER: Sam Claflin (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Joel Edgerton (The King), Damon Herriman (The Nightingale), Ben Mendelsohn (The King), Sam Neil (Ride Like A Girl)

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

WINNER: Magnolia Maymuru (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai), Greta Scacchi (Palm Beach), Yvonee Strahovski (Angel Of Mine), Ursula Yovich (Top End Wedding)

 

BEST SCREENPLAY

WINNER: Jennifer Kent (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: John Collee & Anthony Maraus (Hotel Mumbai), Mirrah Foulkes (Judy & Punch), David Michod & Joel Edgerton (The King), Rodd Rathjen (Buoyancy)

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER: Radek Ladczuk (The Nightingale)

NOMINEES: Adam Arkapaw (The King), Stefan Duscio (Judy & Punch), Michael Lathan (Buoyancy), Ben Nott (Danger Close)

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

 

WINNER: The Australian Dream

NOMINEES: 2040, Island Of A Hungry Ghost, Mystify: Michael Hutchence, Suzi Q, The Eulogy

 

INTERNATIONAL CATEGORIES

 

BEST FILM (ENGLISH SPEAKING)

WINNER: The Irishman

NOMINEES: Joker, Knives Out, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Marriage Story

 

BEST FILM (FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

WINNER: Parasite

NOMINEES: Burning, Pain & Glory, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, The Guilty

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

WINNER: Apollo 11

NOMINEES: For Sama, Free Solo, Hail Satan, Pavarotti

 

Well we’ve seen the worst… now here the best. Dave G takes a look at what his favourite films were for 2019.

  1. The Nightingale

Few films could match the power of The Nightingale this year. While described as a thriller Jennifer Kent’s film could easily been described as a Gothic horror. Brilliantly capturing the harshness of early Tasmanian settlement the film and allowing Sam Claflin to shine in the role of one the screen’s worst villains. The film shone as did its amazing star Aisling Franciosi.

  1. Ford vs Ferrari

In an era when films around fast cars usually involve epic stunts and a cast full of muscle Ford vs Ferrari did things a little differently. While the heart of the story revolved around the Shelby racing team having two of the greatest character actors of our era, Matt Damon and Christian Bale, acting opposite each other made it an audience’s delight and has rocketed it into Oscar contention.

  1. Joker

What is it about playing the Joker that seems to make an actor lift their performance? After great performances in the role by Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger here Joaquin Phoenix stepped into this origins story and suddenly DC Comics had an Oscar worthy film on its hands… cop that Marvel.

  1. Buoyancy

From first time feature director Rodd Rathjen Buoyancy explored the practice of human slavery in a brutal way. Shot almost entirely on the water in Thailand with a very under-experienced leading man this film should have been talked about more often during the awards season. Rathjen is a filmmaker to watch in the future.

  1. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

When Quentin Tarantino makes a film these days it is not just a release it is a cinematic event. Once again Once Upon A Time In Hollywood showed what a serious filmmaker Tarantino can be as he creatively tells a story around the notorious serial killer Charles Manson. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt relished on a script that some thought was a little too talky.

  1. Midsommar

While I wasn’t a fan of Hereditary Midsommar is the film that has really shown me that Ari Aster is a filmmaker that really knows how to hit his mark. Thought-provoking, creative and gruesome, what else do you want from a modern day horror film?

  1. Sorry We Missed You

Nobody makes movies that critique modern day society the same way Ken Loach does. Once again Sorry We Missed You exposes what hundreds of thousands of families go through each day in a way that seems like a time capsule that can make you cry.

  1. A Bigger Jail

Brand new film from Australian director/screenwriter Matthew Victor Pastor telling the parallel story of a man living in a cuckhold relationship and a man who has recently been released from prison trying to fit into society. This is the film that should make Pastor a household name in Australian filmmaking circles.

  1. Blinded By The Light

An amazing film that mixed drama and comedy as it told the story of a young refugee coming to grips with living in Thatcher’s England. Uses the music of Bruce Springsteen as a back-drop this is one of the big surprises of 2019 and shows that Viveik Kalra is a young actor to watch.

  1. Galveston

Melanie Laurent continues to show that she is a filmmaker on the rise with the gritty crime drama Galveston. There is no way to pick where there movie is headed and it is only made better by a script that allows Ben Foster and Elle Fanning to put on two of the best acting performances of the year.

  1. Mid 90s

Jonah Hill makes his feature film directional debut with a film that Larry Clarke would have been happy with. Edgy and really captures the 90s… certainly show that Hill maybe someone to watch as a filmmaker in the future.

  1. The Public

Largely overlooked in Australia The Public saw one of the best acting/directing performances from recent years with Emilio Estevez delivering pure perfection. The films biting commentary on homelessness certainly made its audience sit up and take notice.

  1. Jo Jo Rabbit

You can’t do a comedy film about the Hitler Youth, right? Wrong. Director Taika Waititi returns to form with a film that will make you laugh and then make you cry. Sam Rockwell once again steals the show.

  1. Hotel Mumbai

Another Australian film that is perhaps unlucky not to be higher up on my list. Heart-breaking and acting packed the film captures one of India’s darkest days with an amazing acting performance from Dev Patel.

  1. A Good Woman Is Hard To Find

Great British crime thriller from director Abner Pastoll. Very reminiscent of the gangster fills of the 1980s. Has cult film written all over it and has a brilliant performance from Sarah Bolger who deserves to be a star.

  1. Marriage Story

Brilliant Netflix drama about a couple going through a divorce. Brilliant screenplay and brilliant performances by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. Could it be enough to get Driver an Oscar nomination?

  1. Instant Family

One of the very few comedies to be released this year that actually had heart. Instant Family knew when to be funny and knew when to be touching.

  1. Ben Is Back

Perhaps one of the most underrated films of 2019. Ben Is Back is everything that you don’t normally expect from a Julia Roberts film – gritty and totally engrossing.

  1. The Dead Don’t Die

This film may have divided audiences but at the end of the day you had to remember that it was a film from the legendary Jim Jamusch. With that in mind the film delivered everything it should – quirky humour and unexpected turns.

  1. The Kindergarten Teacher

One of the most intriguing films of 2019. What seemed to be a heartfelt film about a teacher trying to help a gifted student had twists and turns that nobody saw coming.

  1. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

Not only one of the action films of the year but one of the best action films ever made. Amazing stunts and brilliant fight sequences… surely there are no action film fans out there that didn’t love this?

  1. Defend, Protect, Conserve

One of the most important doccos made this year. Captures what really happens when Sea Shepherd goes up against the Japanese whaling fleet which made for a really interesting viewing.

  1. A Dog’s Journey

Probably one of the biggest surprises for me in 2019. This looked like it was going to be light and fluffy but instead ended up being a film with grit that explored tough topics such as family separation. If you haven’t seen it, go out and grab yourself a copy.

  1. The Guilty

The Guilty is easily one of the best foreign language films of the year. Claustrophobic and suspenseful this is another of this year’s must see films.

  1. Yesterday

Danny Boyle once again at his creative best. Funny in parts, thought provoking in others, plus who would have known that Ed Sheeran would steal the limelight the way he did?

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This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief,’ ‘Inside Out’ ‘The Nightingale’ and ‘Hot Pursuit′ . This episode also contains interviews with Pete Docter, Mindy Kaling, Sofia Vergara, Shahin Shafaei (Two Refgees And A Blonde), Travis Bain (Throwback/Starspawn), Ted Matkowski (Polish Film Festival), Jack Sargeant (Revelation Film Festival) and Malcolm Turner (Melbourne Animation Film Festival).

Plus we launch two great new competitions this week. First up thanks to eOne Entertainment you have a chance to win a copy of Song One starring Anne Hathaway on DVD.

Then seconadly you get a chance to win passes to see Love & Mercy, starring Paul Dano and John Cusack, in cinemas on June 25 thanks to Icon.  Five lucky people will also win The Beach Boys’ Greatest Hits album to go with their passes.

Make sure you listen to this week’s show to see how to enter both competitions.

To listen to the show or can download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here.