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Crowe flies at FCCA bash

Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner took home four awards in Sydney last night.

Nah, mate, Rabbitohs fans go in the other door.

Nah, mate, Rabbitohs fans go in the other door.

Much is made of the fact that the Australian film industry is a surprisingly successful player when it comes to the international arena. But that often means that the success stories are unavailable when it comes to local awards like those held by the film press’ professional association, the Film Critics Circle of Australia.

Typically, the FCCA’s annual Awards are usually attended by the party faithful, industry stalwarts and assorted up and comers. Just as typically, one film tends to dominate proceedings. This year the prizes were spread quite evenly, but some films dominated by sheer star power.

Everyone knew that Russell Crowe had been nominated as Best Actor and Best Director. In fact The Water Diviner, Crowe’s directorial debut was nominated in nine categories. Nevertheless, heads spun around when the Oscar-winner walked into the room. It was Crowe’s first appearance at the FCCA Awards, since his controversial role in Romper Stomper back in 1993.

Jacqueline McKenzie takes the award for Best Supporting Actress

Jacqueline McKenzie takes the award for Best Supporting Actress
Photo: Paul Santleman

Joining him from that time was Jacqueline McKenzie, Crowe’s Romper Stomper co-star, who picked up a Best Supporting Actress gong for her role in The Water Diviner. But impressive as the arrival of these two major players at the FCCA Awards was, a less well-known actor trumped both of them. Yilmaz Erdogan had flown in from Turkey to attend the Awards – and won for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Erdogan also gave a magnificent speech highlighting the ability to find Turkish bread and Turkish delight in Australia’s most out of the way places.

Crowe picked up the Best Actor, rather than the Best Director prize, and The Water Diviner also won the Best Musical Score (composer David Hirschfelder was also nominated for Healing).

Rolf de Heer;s film took the FCCA's Best Director and Film awards

Rolf de Heer’s film took the FCCA’s Best Director and Film awards

The Best Film and Director both went to Rolf de Heer for Charlie’s Country. In his acceptance speech for Best Director, de Heer took the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to task for the politician’s comments earlier in the day about indigenous Australians making a “lifestyle choice” at taxpayer’s expense. De Heer suggested, “Tony Abbott has made a lifestyle choice to live in Canberra and that Australian taxpayers should not have to fund that.”

With The Water Diviner winning the most Awards with a tally of four and Charlie’s Country winning two trophies, the middle ground, numerically speaking, was held by Predestination and The Babadook which gathered three Awards each. Both films tied for Best Editor. Sarah Snook scored the Best Actress award for her role in Predestination. The other Predestination award was Best Production Design. Newcomer Noah Wiseman, picked up a Best Performance by A Young Actor Award for The Babadook while his writer/director Jennifer Kent won for Best Screenplay.

Best of frenemies, Russell Crowe presents critics David Pomeranz and with a special award

All smiles now they’ve retired, Russell Crowe presents critics David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz with an honorary award
Photo: Paul Santleman

The FCCA presented a special award to critics David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz, who rolled the final credits on almost three decades of TV shows (SBS’The Movie Show and the ABC’s At the Movies) last December.

The winners of the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards were (marked ***):

BEST FILM
The Babadook (Kristina Ceyton, Kristian Moliere)
*** Charlie’s Country (Rolf De Heer, Peter Djigirr, Nils Erik Nielsen)
Predestination (Paddy McDonald, Tim McGahan, Michael Spierig)
Tracks (Iain Canning, Emile Sherman)
The Water Diviner (Troy Lum, Andrew Mason, Keith Rodger)

THE FCCA SOLRUN HOAAS AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY
The Animal Condition (Director, Michael Dahlstrom)
*** China’s 3Dreams (Director, Nick Torrens)
Don’t Throw Stones (Director, Mike Brook)
Love Marriage in Kabul (Director, Amin Palangi)
Still Our Country (Director, Molly Reynolds)

BEST DIRECTOR
Russell Crowe, The Water Diviner
John Curran, Tracks
*** Rolf De Heer, Charlie’s Country
Jennifer Kent, The Babadook
Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, Predestination

BEST ACTRESS
Essie Davis, The Babadook
*** Sarah Snook, Predestination
Mia Wasikowska, Tracks

BEST ACTOR
*** Russell Crowe, The Water Diviner
Joel Edgerton, Felony
David Gulpilil, Charlie’s Country
Don Hany, Healing
Guy Pearce, The Rover

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Justine Clarke, Healing
Melissa George, Felony
Erin James, The Little Death
*** Jacqueline McKenzie, The Water Diviner
Susan Prior, The Rover

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jai Courtney, Felony
Adam Driver, Tracks
*** Yilmaz Erdogan, The Water Diviner
Robert Pattinson, The Rover
Tom Wilkinson, Felony

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUNG ACTOR
Tilda Cobham-Hervey, 52 Tuesdays
Ashleigh Cummings, Galore
Angourie Rice, These Final Hours
*** Noah Wiseman, The Babadook

BEST SCREENPLAY
Matthew Cormack, 52 Tuesdays
Rolf de Heer, David Gulpilil, Charlie’s Country
Joel Edgerton, Felony
*** Jennifer Kent, The Babadook
Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, Predestination

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ian Jones, Charlie’s Country
Radek Ladezuk, The Babadook
Andrew Lesnie, The Water Diviner
Ben Nott, Predestination
*** Mandy Walker, Tracks

BEST MUSIC SCORE
David Hirschfelder, Healing
*** David Hirschfelder, The Water Diviner
Antony Partos, The Rover
Peter Spierig, Predestination

BEST EDITOR (tied)
Bryan Mason, 52 Tuesdays
*** Simon Njoo, The Babadook
*** Matt Villa, Predestination
Matt Villa, The Water Diviner

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Jo Ford, The Rover
Alex Holmes, The Babadook
Chris Kennedy, The Water Diviner
*** Matthew Putland, Predestination

BEST DOCUMENTARY
***China’s 3 Dreams
The Animal Condition
Don’t Throw Stones
Love Marriage in Kabul
Still Our Country

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