AACTA International Awards: ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ wins Best Picture

The 12th annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) International Awards were handed out in Los Angeles on Feb. 23. “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which was filmed primarily in neighboring New Zealand, won Best Picture. “The Banshees of Inisherin” claimed both supporting acting awards (Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon) plus the screenplay prize for director Martin McDonagh.

Elvis,” which had won a whopping 11 awards at the domestic awards in December plus the people’s choice prize, repeated with wins for helmer Baz Luhrmann and lead actor Austin Butler. And Australian leading lady Cate Blanchett claimed a third Best Actress trophy for “Tár” (she previously prevailed for “Blue Jasmine” and “Carol”)

On the TV side, “Mystery Road: Origin,” which had taken home a lucky seven awards in December, repeated with wins for Best Drama Series and lead actor Mark Coles Smith. “The White Lotus: Sicily” won both Best Comedy Series and the TV actress award for scene stealer Jennifer Coolidge.

Last year, “The Power of the Dog” won Best Picture plus gongs for lead Benedict Cumberbatch and supporting player Kodi Smit-McPhee. Best Director went to Canada’s Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”). Local favorite Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) won the Best Actress prize while British doyenne Judi Dench took the supporting award for “Belfast” and director Aaron Sorkin won for his “Being the Ricardos” script. On the TV side, “The White Lotus” won Best Comedy Series with Aussie Murray Bartlett claiming the Actor prize while Kate Winslet won for “Mare of Easttown” and “Succession” took home Best Drama Series.

SEE Australian Academy Awards: ‘Elvis’ wins 11 including Best Picture at local kudosfest

Held annually in Los Angeles, the AACTA International Awards honour the best achievements in screen excellence, regardless of geography or nationality, across seven film and four TV categories. The film winners are determined by AACTA’s International Chapter, which is made up of 190 Australian screen professionals including Oscar nominees and winners Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Jan Chapman and Jacki Weaver. The four TV winners are voted on by the entire AACTA membership.

These awards add a uniquely Australian voice to the international awards circuit alongside the Oscars, BAFTAs, Emmys and Golden Globes. However, while the Aussie academy is somewhat prescient about spotlighting who will find favor with the Oscars, they do often favor home grown talent.

The full list of winners are below.

Best Picture
X – “Avatar: The Way of Water”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Top Gun: Maverick”

Best Director
James Cameron – “Avatar: The Way of Water”
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
X – Baz Luhrmann – “Elvis”
Martin McDonagh – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Steven Spielberg – “The Fabelmans”

Best Actor
X – Austin Butler – “Elvis”
Joel Edgerton – “The Stranger”
Colin Farrell – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Brendan Fraser – “The Whale”
Hugh Jackman – “The Son”

Best Actress
X – Cate Blanchett – “Tár”
Ana de Armas – “Blonde”
Margot Robbie – “Babylon”
Michelle Williams – “The Fabelmans”
Michelle Yeoh – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Best Supporting Actor
X – Brendan Gleeson – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Woody Harrelson – “Triangle Of Sadness”
Sean Harris – ” The Stranger”
Brad Pitt – “Babylon”
Ke Huy Quan – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Best Supporting Actress
X – Kerry Condon – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Jamie Lee Curtis – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Olivia DeJonge – “Elvis”
Stephanie Hsu – “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
Jean Smart – “Babylon”

Best Screenplay
Todd Field – “Tár”
Rian Johnson – “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”
X – Martin McDonagh – “The Banshees of Inisherin”
Ruben Östlund – “Triangle of Sadness”
Dana Stevens, Maria Bello – “The Woman King”

Best TV Drama Series
“Heartbreak High”
X – “Mystery Road: Origin”
“Stranger Things”
“The Bear”

Best TV Comedy Series
“Only Murders in The Building”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
X – “The White Lotus: Sicily”

Best TV Actor
Jeremy Allen White – “The Bear”
Jason Bateman – “Ozark”
X – Mark Coles Smith – “Mystery Road: Origin”
Bob Odenkirk – “Better Call Saul”
Thomas Weatherall – “Heartbreak High”

Best TV Actress
X – Jennifer Coolidge – “The White Lotus: Sicily”
Elizabeth Debecki – “The Crown”
Laura Linney – “Ozark”
Jean Smart – “Hacks”
Zendaya – “Euphoria”

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