Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)
Australia is set for a golden Academy Awards ceremony with George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road on track to collect wins in a record six categories.
If Oscar experts and bookmakers are correct, 10 Australian Fury Road crew members will walk out of Hollywood’s Dolby Theater on Sunday (Monday AEDT) with gold statuettes in their hands.
It will easily usurp two other grand years for Australians at the Oscars.
In 1996 six Australians won Oscars in four categories when Miller’s Babe and Mel Gibson’s Braveheart reigned.
In 2011 Emile Sherman’s The King’s Speech won best picture and animated short filmmaker Shaun Tan, editor Kirk Baxter and make-up artist Dave Elsey were also victorious.
This weekend’s 88th Academy Awards is being billed as a battle between Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant in the crew categories.
“Below the line it’s shaping up to be a war between Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant,” Variety’s co-awards editor Kristopher Tapley wrote.
“On the heels of BAFTA wins, my instinct is to give Mad Max the design categories (costumes, makeup/hairstyling and production design) plus film editing, leaving sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects to The Revenant.”
A wide collection of other Oscar experts surveyed on the Gold Derby website and bookmakers on oddschecker.com project Australia’s Mad Max: Fury Road winners as: Margaret Sixel for editing; Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin for makeup and hairstyling; Andrew Jackson and Dan Oliver for visual effects; Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson for production design; David White sound editing; and Ben Osmo for sound mixing.
Mad Max: Fury Road’s costume designer Jenny Beavan is English.
In the directing race, Miller is the second favourite behind The Revenant’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
Mad Max: Fury Road appears to have been left behind in the best picture race, with The Revenant the favourite and The Big Short and Spotlight considered by Oscar experts and bookmakers the biggest challengers.
Another icon of the Australian film industry who worked on Mad Max: Fury Road, 73-year-old cinematographer John Seale who won an Oscar for The English Patient in 1997, is the second favourite behind The Revenant’s Emmanuel Lubezki.
Two-time Australian Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is nominated for best actress for Carol, but she is considered a long shot with Room’s Brie Larson at thin odds.
AUSTRALIA’S OSCAR NOMINATIONS
Best Picture: George Miller and Doug Mitchell (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Best Director: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Editor: Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Cinematography: John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Production Design: Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Sound Mixing: Ben Osmo (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Sound Editing: David White (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Makeup and Hairstyling: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Visual Effects: Andrew Jackson and Dan Oliver (Mad Max: Fury Road)