What Australians wants to see during the OscarsJanuary 23, 2017

The nominees for the 89th Academy Awards is out, and the Australian film community has something to cheer about. "Hacksaw Ridge" and "Lion" are among the bevy of pictures to be honored during the big night next month. Both films are considered long shots. ("La La Land" resulted to a nostalgic fever, and the superheroes were to blame for it.) The previous year would see George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road", the fourth installment in the Mad Max franchise, winning the most Oscars. Cate Blanchett has another Oscar to her name.

The latest Academy Awards raises a few questions. Is Mel Gibson back for good? It will depend on the funding for his next movie. Feathers are ruffled many times, but the case of the "Lethal Weapon" star is something else. Gibson is 62 years of age, and the (film) landscape would be a bit different during his heyday. If the leaked Sony emails are of any indication, producers have a long memory. The actor/director might need a little help from his peers. Jodie Foster can be the first online. What are the chances of an Australian picture being nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film? There have been many submissions in the past including a Pacific version of "Romeo and Juliet", but there would seem to be a pattern. The nominees feature a Jewish character, if not another take on the Holocaust. Who will be the next Australian actor to win the Best Actor category? Joel Edgerton's performance in "Loving" could be given serious consideration, but this is one category where one or two will be snubbed by the voters. There will be a repeat of 1996 when independent films dominate the awards circuit. Geoffrey Rush will love to see it happening again.

What do Australians want to see during the Oscars? Let's count to three:

Toni Collette adding the Oscar to her resume. The "Muriel's Wedding" star can be seen in "XXX: Return of Xander Cage", the third film in the xXx franchise. The Blacktown native has been working in Hollywood for two decades, and she has shown her talents. (Collette won an Emmy Award, even upstaged the overrated Nia Vardalos.) Muriel Heslop would be the role of a lifetime, but it doesn't mean that Collette can't star in another memorable film. Perhaps P.J. Hogan can attempt to recapture the magic that seemed to be long gone. Comedy may be a long shot, but it can happen in the right place at the right time.

Cate Blanchett winning her third Oscar. Many compared the Melburnian to Meryl Streep, and don't be surprised if she will be the seventh actor to win three Oscars or more. She may be reaching 50, but don't expect her to join the long list of over-the-hill actresses. (She will play Hela in "Thor: Ragnarok".) Her Oscar speech in "Blue Jasmine" may be a bit condescending, but there's no doubt about her talent. There may never be another one like her.

Justin Kurzel receiving the Academy Award for Best Director. "Assassin's Creed" may have fallen below expectations, but it's not the end for the Gawler native. He's only 42 years of age, and his "Macbeth" reveals lots of promise. It will be a matter of time before a studio gives him a meaty project. The 20th Century Fox honchos might be waiting for him.

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