Australian International Academy Awards nominations: ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Three Billboards’ lead with 5 nominations each

Leading Oscar contenders “Call Me By Your Name,” “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” reaped a leading five nominations apiece for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) International Awards. Joining these films in the top race are four-time nominee “Dunkirk” and three-time contender “The Shape of Water.” The seventh annual edition of these awards will be held at The Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 5th, 2017. The full list of nominees is below.

Winners are decided by about 150 Australian filmmakers. About half of these voters also cast ballots for the Academy Awards and BAFTAs and their roster also includes members of the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which doles out the Golden Globe Awards.

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Although the AACTAs are generally prescient when it comes to which films and performers are in the hunt for Oscar recognition, they do tend to favor home grown talent. Of this year’s nominees, helmer Craig Gillespie (“I, Tonya”) and actors Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Hugh Jackman (“Logan”), Nicole Kidman (“The Killing of a Sacred Deer”) and Ben Mendelsohn (“Darkest Hour”) are given a welcome boost by their compatriots Down Under.

However, the awards generally still provide valuable clues on where the Oscar race might be headed. Last year, “La La Land” won Best Film at the International Awards, edging out the homegrown “Hacksaw Ridge,” which had a few weeks earlier won an impressive nine trophies at the local derby, including Best Film and Best Direction (Mel Gibson). The year before, “Mad Max: Fury Road” won Best Film and Direction (George Miller) at the International Awards after storming the domestic edition by winning a whopping ten AACTA Awards.

Australian Academy Awards nominations: ‘Lion’ and ‘Top of the Lake: China Girl’ lead

On December 6th, Australian-made “Lion” swept the field at the ceremony celebrating Australian films and TV series, winning all 12 of its races, including Best Film, Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (Sunny Pawar) and for supporting players Dev Patel and Kidman. Due to a quirk in eligibility periods, “Lion” contended at last year’s International Awards, but had to wait a whole year before it was able to compete domestically.

This international awards show was introduced to give Australian filmmakers and artists a voice in the precursor period to the Oscars. Like their BAFTA brethren in the mother country, the weeks leading up to the Oscar nominations announcement sees numerous groups vie for attention and Oscar prognostication bragging rights.

Although it went with “La La Land” over “Moonlight,” which was not even nominated as Best Film by the Aussie contingent, the AACTA Best Film lineup (“Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea”) all went on to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Indeed, the AACTAs foresaw those Oscar wins for Emma Stone (“La La Land”) as Best Actress and Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) as Best Actor. Writer/director Kenneth Lonergan won Best Screenplay here before ultimately taking home the Best Original Screenplay category at the Oscars.

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AACTA International Award for Best Film
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Dunkirk”
“Lady Bird”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

AACTA International Award for Best Direction
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Craig Gillespie, “I, Tonya”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay
James Ivory, “Call Me by Your Name”
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

AACTA International Award for Best Actress
Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape Of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

AACTA International Award for Best Actor
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Hugh Jackman, “Logan”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

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AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Abbie Cornish, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Nicole Kidman, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Armie Hammer, “Call Me by Your Name”
Tom Hardy, “Dunkirk”
Ben Mendelsohn, “Darkest Hour”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.

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