For me the two films eligible for the 2010 Australian Film Institute Awards that really stood out over everything else were David Michôd’s Animal Kingdom (2010) and Jane Campion Bright Star (2009). Both films have deservedly picked up a number of nominations this year (Animal Kingdom in particular) and while I’d like to see a few nods go to Bright Star, I suspect Animal Kingdom is going to sweep the floor. I certainly believe it will win both the AFI Members’ Choice Award and the Samsung Mobile AFI Award for Best Film, plus the awards for direction and original screenplay as well.
Of all the films nominated for best adapted screenplay I believe that The Tree is the one that should win for Julie Bertuccelli’s fine work. I also admired Tomorrow, When the War Began on many levels but I still firmly believe that the way the invaders where represented was a poor choice and for that reason I believe it is a flawed adaptation (you can read all the debate that my stance on that issue created in the comments under my original review).
Everybody nominated for the cinematography award did outstanding work but for me it will once again be between Adam Arkapaw for his work on Animal Kingdom and Greig Fraser for his work on Bright Star. However, I would love to see Fraser ultimately get the nod for this in recognition of just how much good work he has done recently on other films such as Let Me In, The Boys Are Back and Last Ride. As for the editing award I really have no idea who I would ultimate pick from the terrific nominations so I’ll simply pick recent Australian Screen Editors Awards winner Dany Cooper ASE for her work on Beneath Hill 60. However, I am steadfast in my belief that Beneath Hill 60 should win the best sound award as the use of sound in that film was astonishing.
While I wasn’t a fan of Bran Nue Dae, it is the only musical nominated for the original music score award so I won’t be the least bit surprised if it wins. However, once again I return to Animal Kingdom and Bright Star as the films I feel should be recognised for they way they used music to so effectively create atmosphere. While I usually get frustrated by the conservative and bland approach of always giving production design and costume awards to period films, in this instance I believe that Janet Patterson should win both awards for her stunningly expressive work in Bright Star.
Finally the acting awards, which Animal Kingdom dominates yet again with multiple entries in both the lead male and supporting male categories. Nevertheless, I think Ben Mendelsohn truly deserves to win the best lead male award for his terrifying performance as Pope. Mendelsohn has been nominated several times before and won a supporting actor award in 1987 for The Year My Voice Broke but I think his work in Animal Kingdom is a career best. On the other hand, while I realise that Jackie Weaver is probably the favourite for the best female actor award for her performance in Animal Kingdom, I would really like to see that award go to Abbie Cornish for giving such a moving yet measured performance in Bright Star. I don’t have particularly strong feelings about who should win the supporting actor awards but I’m inclined to thing the awards will go to Joel Edgerton and Laura Wheelwright, both for Animal Kingdom.
The 2010 Samsung Mobile AFI Industry Awards presented by Digital Pictures will be held on Friday 10 December 2010.
The 2010 Samsung Mobile AFI Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday 11 December 2010 and televised at 9.30pm on Channel 9.
UPDATE (12/12/10) I won’t be writing a separate article this year about the actual winners as the awards more or less went to the films that I expected/wanted them to. Check out the list of all the winners here on the AFI website.