Our favourite Ozsters heading for the Big O?

David Tiley

The Academy is now voting for The Oscars. The Australians are hoping they go for verve rather than strictly conventional craft.
Our favourite Ozsters heading for the Big O?

Can this film be crowned with glory? Olivia Colman is well on her way as Queen Anne in The Favourite, while the Australian contenders are in there fighting.

Fiona Crombie has her Best Production Design BAFTA for The Favourite, with Alice Fulton.  Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara won Best Script, though hardly any mainstream papers bothered to name the duo, and nobody quoted Davis who apparently received the award. 

I know the world is not hanging out for mentions of writers, but they will do a proper list of winners for the Oscars.

The BAFTAs also gonged The Favourite as Outstanding British Film of the Year, reminding us that these nationalistic titles can be won by very multicultural productions. The writing team are listed in this award as well. The British Independent Film Award went berserk for The Favourite, scooping up the writers and Fiona Crombie in the process. 

Here is a remarkable event, which does not seem to have happened before.  Roma took both Best Film, Best Director, and Best Cinematographer. In each case, the director Alfonso Cuarón was a winner. Not just director and cinematographer, he is one of the producing trio, and edited the picture with Adam Gough. In that category they lost to Hank Corwin for Vice.

The great English language auteurs never matched this. Not Woody Allen, John Ford or Stanley Kubrick. 

This is the eleventh subtitled film nominated for Best Picture Oscar,  and the 32nd for Best Director. And twenty for cinematography, before this year's group of three - Roma, Never Look Away and Cold War.

At the Golden Globes, neither Roma nor The Favourite were nominated for Best Film which was won by Bohemian Rhapsody. However, The Favourite was up for the Best Comedy Musical category and duly lost to Green Book. Cuarón won Best Director against A Star is Born, Green Book, BlacKkKlansman and Vice. But Roma did win for Best Foreign Film. 

The Favourite was well nominated for performers and did take Best Actress in the Musical or Comedy Category, backed up since by the BAFTA. Olivia Colman is looking good for an Oscar if only for her ability to deliver an ace speech.

At the Screen Actors Guild, Glenn Close with The Wife beat Olivia Colman and will carry some sentimental value into the Big O. 

The Critics had Roma as Best Picture, Glenn Close and Lady Gaga as joint Best Actresses, while Paul Schrader won Best Script for First Reformed, beating both our favourite contestants. 

Alfonso Cuarón won both Best Director and Best Cinematographer beating Yorgos Lanthimos for director and The Favourite's Robbie Ryan for cinematography. The Cinematographers themselves also went black and white, but for Lukasz Zal in Cold War. Indiewire is betting on Alfonso Cuarón for the lenser's Oscar, followed by Robbie Ryan, way ahead of Lucasz Zal. 

This does look like an odd year. The Screenhub Hivemind generally thinks that the mainstream contestants are a bit soggy, allowing the brash intruders into the game. Three of the main contestants, Black Panther, Black kKlansman and Roma are not just from minority cultures in US terms, but are infused with a sense of their identity. 

If you look at the Best Picture nominees in the last eight years, you might think that there is a slow increase in lively films, which take pleasure in their own style and demonstrate an intense vision. That can't be bad. 

The Australian International AACTA Awards, which badly want to be seen as a precursor to the Oscars, tends to veer off the rails when Australians are involved, perhaps because they suit our cultural style. Both the Oscars and the BAFTAs do the same. 

This year it decided that Roma deserved Best Picture and Best Director, while script went to The Favourite, Olivia Colman took Best Actress and Nicole Kidman won Best Supporting Actress. Rami Malek beat Hugh Jackman for Best Male, while Joel Edgerton lost to Mahershala Ali for Best Supporting Male. These AACTA's don't do technical. 

It could try running some awards for Best Australian Craftspeople working internationally .. yes?

By now the Australians in the Oscars running will be figuring rightly that they should certainly practice their speeches and stay very, very calm. Indiewire is betting on Tony McNamara and Deborah Davis, though the Green Book team of Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly look dangerous. 

About the author

David Tiley is the editor of Screen Hub.