Monday, August 3, 2009

AFI Contenders for 2009

26 films are eligible for this year's AFI Awards to be held in November. There's a mix of big, small, live action, animation, horror and comedy, critically-acclaimed and critically-maligned. I have only seen 11 of them so far (not all have received a release yet), and I look forward to seeing the others when I can. The contenders are listed below and you can click out the AFI website for plot descriptions and all that jazz. Click the linked titles for any reviews I have written.

$9.99 Australia Balibo Beautiful Beautiful Kate Blessed Cedar Boys Charlie & Boots Closed for Winter The Combination Disgrace Dying Breed Lake Mungo Last Ride Lucky Country Mao's Last Dancer Mary and Max My Year Without Sex Newcastle Samson & Delilah Stone Bros. Sweet Marshall Two Fists One Heart Under a Red Moon Van Diemen's Land The View from Greenhaven

Some titles that either weren't submitted or didn't meet the release requirements are Crooked Business, Four of a Kind, Prey, Corroboree, Shadows of the Past, Acolytes, Restraint and Crush. I am not sure why Subdivision isn't amongst the contenders since it is, apparently, set for release later this month and the AFI includes films getting a release up until September. Hmmm, sometimes I don't understand the inner-workings of the AFI.

Here is a little clip reel that the AFI produced.


par3182 said...

my know nothing, know it all predix for best film nods:

my year without sex
samson & delilah

Glenn Dunks said...

I think you're right about Balibo, Disgrace and S&D, but not so sure about My Year Without Sex.

It'll be between that, Mary and Max, Mao's Last Dancer (if it's any good) and either Cedar Boys or The Combination.

An exceptionally fine year no matter what the outcome though, really.

FranklinBluth said...

My vote is with 'Mary and Max'. Absolutely *loved* that film!

Glenn Dunks said...

I'm not sure if I subconsciously forgot about Australia or not. I do wonder what the reaction will be in regards to nominations. Especially since now that only professional members of the AFI get to vote on Best Film.

Cinetology said...

Indeed, an exceptionally strong year for Aussie cinema.

If Australia gets nominated for best, will I be one unhappy chappy.

Glenn Dunks said...

Oh I know you would Luke, but it WAS very popular.

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of Aussie cinema and TV so I'm going to give some predictions a go. It's been a great year and is only going to get better I suspect.
There are predictions, not my personal picks!


- Australia
- Balibo
- Mary and Max
- Samson and Delilah
(5th - Disgrace, Mao's Last Dancer)

- Balibo - Anthony LaPaglia
- Beautiful Kate - Ben Mendelsohn
- Disgrace - John Malkovich
- Last Ride - Hugo Weaving

- Blessed - Deborra Lee-Furness
- Blessed - Frances O'Connor
- Disgrace - Jessica Haines
- Samson and Delilah - Marissa Gibson

- Australia - Brandon Walters
- Balibo - Oscar Isaac
- Beautiful Kate - Bryan Brown
- Two Fists, One Heart - Ennio Fantastichini

- Beautiful - Asher Keddie
- Beautiful Kate - Rachel Griffiths
- Mao's Last Dancer - Joan Chen
- My Year Without Sex - Maude Davey

- Australia - Brandon Walters
- Last Ride - Tom Russell
- Samson and Delilah - Rowan McNamara
- Samson and Delilah - Rowan McNamara

- Balibo - Robert Connolly
- Beautiful Kate - Rachel Ward
- Mao's Last Dancer - Bruce Beresford
- Samson and Delilah - Warwick Thornton

- The Combination
- Mary and Max
- My Year Without Sex
- Samson and Delilah

- Balibo
- Beautiful Kate
- Disgrace
- Mao’s Last Dancer

- Australia
- Lucky Country
- Mao's Last Dancer
- Samson and Delilah

- Balibo
- Blessed
- Mao's Last Dancer
- Samson and Delilah

- Australia
- Mary and Max
- Samson and Delilah
- Two Fists, One Heart

- Australia
- Disgrace
- Last Ride
- Mao's Last Dancer

- Australia
- Lucky Country
- Mary and Max
- Mao's Last Dancer

- Australia
- Lucky Country
- Mao's Last Dancer
- Van Diemen's Land

- $9.99
- Australia
- Dying Breed
- Mary and Max

Anonymous said...


- Packed to the Rafters
- Rush
- Satisfaction
- Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities

- Chandon Pictures
- Laurence Leung's Chose Your Own Adventure
- The Librarians
- Review with Myles Barlow

- 3 Acts of Murder
- The Eternity Man
- The Informant
- Saved

- The Chaser’s War on Everything
- The Gruen Transfer
- RocKwiz
- Spicks and Specks

- Animalia
- Figaro Pho
- The Wot Wots
- Zigby

- Dex Hamilton
- The Elephant Princess
- Escape from Scorpian Island
- I Got a Rocket

- Anatomy
- First Australians
- The History of Australian Surfing
- The Howard Years

- Menzies and Churchill – Chars Bud Tingell
- Rush – Callan Mulvey
- Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities – Roy Billing
- Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities – Matthew Newton

- Carla Cametti, PD – Diana Glenn
- Packed to the Rafters – Rebecca Gibney
- Satisfaction – Alison Whyte
- Saved – Claudia Karvan

- 3 Acts of Murder – Luke Ford
- East of Everything – Nick Tate
- Packed to the Rafters – Hugh Sheridan
- Satisfaction – Dustin Clare

- All Saints - Judith McGrath
- Packed to the Rafters – Jessica Marais
- Satisfaction - Kestie Morassi
- Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities – Kate Ritchie

- 3 Acts of Murder
- The Eternity Man
- Saved
- Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities

- Satisfaction
- Saved
- Packed to the Rafters
- Underbelly 2

- Chandon Pictures – Rob Carlton
- Lawrence Leung's Chose Your Own Adventure - Lawrence Leung
- The Librarians – Robyn Butler
- Review with Myes Barlow - Phil Lloyd


- State of Play - Russell Crowe
- Star Trek - Eric Bana
- True Blood - Ryan Kwanten
- Without a Trace - Anthony LaPaglia

- Brothers & Sisters - Rachel Griffiths
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Cate Blanchett
- Damages - Rose Byrne
- In Treatment - Melissa George`

Glenn Dunks said...

Whoa, hello there. That's a lot of predictions.

Despite not having seen what some films have to offer I actually think you're pretty spot on (in terms of from a distance).

Beautiful is a terrible film and I doubt it will get anything, especially for Asher Keddie who is barely in the stupid thing (have you seen it?) and I think the likes of Sophie Lowe (the AFI voters love their troubled young startlets) or - more likely - Sacha Horler for My Year Without Sex have a better chance than the Blessed woman, especially if it is anything like Book of Revelation.

And in terms of visual effects, that category also includes TV so shows such as H20: Just Add Water find their way amongst titles like Rogue.

Nice to have input though! I can't really comment on the TV stuff since I don't watch Aussie drama.

bettestreep2008 said...

I've been looking for a forum to discuss the AFI awards and now I've found your blog - yey!

2009 will go down as arguably the strongest year on record.

Sadly for General Members - the screenings were closed to them this year and furthermore only Professional members could vote.

Not sure what the AFI were thinking - I am guessing the "industry elite" weren't pleased with mingling with the great unwashed or having them vote for their prestigious awards.

Due to the high quality of films entered this year - AFI members could vote for 6 Best Film contenders instead of the normal 4. I am guessing they will increase the Best Film nominees from 4 to 5 as a result.

As a Professional Member myself, there was a clear standout film and there were about 9 other films that I made my final 5 choices from.

My final 10 - in alphabetical order were;-

$9.99, Australia, Balibo, Beautiful Kate, Blessed,Mao's Last Dancer, Mary and Max, My Year Without Sex, Newcastle and Samson & Delilah.

I am predicting Australia and Mao's Last Dancer will be snubbed in the main categories but will feature in the tech categories. Expect the usual outcry about popular box office hits being snubbed for critical arthouse films.

Here is what I hope the AFI announces on October 28;-

Samson and Delilah DOES NOT get nominated in every category. It's a good film - but I don't want to see it get nominated for Best Supporting Actor or Costume Design.

Australia and Mao's Last Dancer completely snubbed. Both films have faults but technically both are excellent. The AFI has already alienated the General Members - but do they want to also alienate the average movie goer as well?

The Young Actor award be split into Male and Female. There are enough candidates to honour both a young male and female for some truly excellent performances this year.

I predict Sophie Lowe to be our next Cate Blanchett and Abbie Cornish!

Glenn Dunks said...

bettestreep, I agree that Australia and Mao's Last Dancer won't make it into the lead categories, but there's no way they can be ignored in the technicals.

In regards to the screenings, tell me about it! This year the screenings were barely attended. Only Charlie & Boots had more than 25 people in attendance.

I believe the Best Film category has six nominees, but the other categories remain at 4.

I think the very strong field this year will keep it from becoming the same four films over and over again like the last few years, which is a good thing. A very good thing.