If the 3rd annual Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards could be categorised as a David vs Goliath battle between The Rocket and The Great Gatsby, Goliath is the hands-down winner.
Baz Luhrmann’s opulent romantic drama won six awards tonight, for best film, director, adapted screenplay, lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio, supporting actor Joel Edgerton and supporting actress Elizabeth Debicki.
That’s in addition to the six awards in craft categories plus the AACTA award for outstanding achievement in visual effects bestowed on Luhrmann’s film on Tuesday.
Kim Mordaunt's The Rocket, which had 12 nominations versus 14 for Gatsby, had to be content with just one trophy, for Mordaunt’s original screenplay.
The outcome is likely to reignite the debate about the near-impossibility of comparing a lavishly-mounted 3D film financed by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures, which cost $160 million, with an independently-funded Lao-set film from a first-time director budgeted at about $2 million.
AACTA’s predecessor, the Australian Film Institute, had not been kind to Luhrmann. His only previous gongs were for best film, best director and screenplay (shared with Craig Pearce) for his debut Strictly Ballroom in 1992.
Accepting the award on behalf of DiCaprio, Luhrmann graciously made a point of supporting tyro Sitthiphon Disamoe, who was nominated for best actor for The Rocket.
Rose Byrne took the best actress prize for her role in Tim Winton’s The Turning.
In the TV categories, UK TV’s Top of the Lake was named best telefeature or miniseries and ABC's Redfern Now series 2 took the best drama trophy.
The ABC’s Please Like Me was honoured as best TV comedy or light entertainment series and Network Ten’s MasterChef: The Professionals was best reality TV series.
Nine’s Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch Story nabbed the drama awards for lead actor Lachy Hulme, supporting actor Luke Ford, director Geoff Bennett and Samantha Winston’s screenplay.
Claudia Karvan was feted as best lead actress in a TV drama for the ABC’s The Time of Our Lives and Kat Stewart was best supporting actress for Ten’s Offspring. That was Claudia's fourth award in the category: she won twice for Love My Way and once for G.P.
Best performance in a TV comedy went to Shaun Micallef for the ABC's Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell series 2.
Red Obsession collected the prize for feature documentary, predictably so because directors David Roach and Warwick Ross received the directing award on Tuesday.
Shane Bourne hosted the ceremony at the Star Event Centre. The AACTA Raymond Longford Award was presented to Jacki Weaver in a tribute from colleagues Jack Thompson, Claudia Karvan, David Michôd and Bradley Cooper who worked with her in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook.
The Byron Kennedy award was presented to the Australian Cinematographers Society, acceped by national president Ron Johanson.
AACTA RAYMOND LONGFORD AWARD
• Jacki Weaver
BYRON KENNEDY AWARD
• Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS)
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEVISION COMEDY OR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT SERIES
• THE AGONY OF LIFE Amanda Brotchie, Nicole Minchin and Adam Zwar – ABC1
• GRUEN NATION – SERIES 2 Sophia Zachariou, Jo Wathen, Wil Anderson and Jon Casimir- ABC1
• PLEASE LIKE ME Todd Abbott – ABC2 (WINNER)
• SHAUN MICALLEF'S MAD AS HELL – SERIES 2 Peter Beck and Shaun Micallef – ABC1
• UPPER MIDDLE BOGAN Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope – ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST REALITY TELEVISION SERIES
• AUSTRALIA'S GOT TALENT – SERIES 7 Greg Beness and Steve Kelly – Nine Network
• MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS Margaret Bashfield, David McDonald, Mark Barlin and Tim Toni – Network Ten (WINNER)
• MY KITCHEN RULES – SERIES 4 Rikkie Proost, Matt Apps, Evan Wilkes and Greg Swanborough – Seven Network
• THE X FACTOR – SERIES 4 Jonathon Summerhayes – Seven Network
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEVISION DRAMA SERIES
• OFFSPRING – SEASON 4 John Edwards and Imogen Banks – Network Ten
• REDFERN NOW – SERIES 2 Darren Dale and Miranda Dear – ABC1 (WINNER)
• SERANGOON ROAD Paul Barron and Nick North – ABC1
• WENTWORTH – SERIES 1 Jo Porter and Amanda Crittenden – FOXTEL – SoHo
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINI SERIES
• AN ACCIDENTAL SOLDIER Kylie du Fresne and Sue Taylor – ABC1
• MRS BIGGS Kwadjo Dajan and Tony Wright – Seven Network
• POWER GAMES: THE PACKER-MURDOCH STORY John Edwards and Jodi Matterson – Nine Network
• TOP OF THE LAKE Emile Sherman, Iain Canning, Jane Campion and Philippa Campbell – FOXTEL – UKTV (WINNER)
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION IN A TELEVISION DRAMA OR COMEDY
• AN ACCIDENTAL SOLDIER Rachel Ward – ABC1
• PLEASE LIKE ME Episode 3: Portuguese Custard Tarts Matthew Saville – ABC2
• POWER GAMES: THE PACKER-MURDOCH STORY Part 1 Geoff Bennett – Nine Network (WINNER)
• TOP OF THE LAKE Episode 5: The Dark Creator Garth Davis – FOXTEL – UKTV
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY IN TELEVISION
• OFFSPRING – SEASON 4 Episode 13 Debra Oswald – Network Ten
• POWER GAMES: THE PACKER-MURDOCH STORY Part 1 Samantha Winston – Nine Network (WINNER)
• REDFERN NOW – SERIES 2 Episode 3: Babe in Arms Steven McGregor – ABC1
• UPPER MIDDLE BOGAN Episode 5: No Angel Robyn Butler, Wayne Hope and Gary McCaffrie – ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
• Ernie Dingo REDFERN NOW – SERIES 2 Episode 6: Dogs of War – ABC1
• Remy Hii BETTER MAN – SBS
• Lachy Hulme POWER GAMES: THE PACKER-MURDOCH STORY – Nine Network (WINNER)
• Meyne Wyatt REDFERN NOW – SERIES 2 Episode 3: Babe in Arms – ABC1
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
• Marie Bunel AN ACCIDENTAL SOLDIER – ABC1
• Claudia Karvan THE TIME OF OUR LIVES – ABC1 (WINNER)
• Asher Keddie OFFSPRING – SEASON 4 – Network Ten
• Sheridan Smith MRS BIGGS – Seven Network
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
• Alexander England POWER GAMES: THE PACKER-MURDOCH STORY Part 1 – Nine Network
• Luke Ford POWER GAMES: THE PACKER-MURDOCH STORY Part 2 – Nine Network (WINNER)
• Peter Mullan TOP OF THE LAKE Episode 5: The Dark Creator – FOXTEL – UKTV
• David Wenham BETTER MAN Part 2 – SBS
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
• Kris McQuade WENTWORTH – SERIES 1 Episode 10: Checkmate – FOXTEL – SoHo
• Heather Mitchell POWER GAMES: THE PACKER-MURDOCH STORY Part 1 – Nine Network
• Robyn Nevin TOP OF THE LAKE Episode 4: A Rainbow Above Us – FOXTEL – UKTV
• Kat Stewart OFFSPRING – SEASON 4 Episode 9 – Network Ten (WINNER)
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE IN A TELEVISION COMEDY
• Lisa McCune IT'S A DATE Episode 1: Abandon – ABC1
• Shaun Micallef SHAUN MICALLEF'S MAD AS HELL – SERIES 2 – ABC1 (WINNER)
• Robyn Nevin UPPER MIDDLE BOGAN – ABC1
• Josh Thomas PLEASE LIKE ME – ABC2
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
• I AM A GIRL Rebecca Barry
• ONCE MY MOTHER Rod Freedman
• RED OBSESSION Warwick Ross (WINNER)
• SHADOW OF DOUBT Eve Ash
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST FILM
• DEAD EUROPE Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Liz Watts
• THE GREAT GATSBY Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Douglas Wick, Lucy Fisher and Catherine Knapman (WINNER)
• MYSTERY ROAD David Jowsey
• THE ROCKET Sylvia Wilczynski
• SATELLITE BOY David Jowsey, Julie Ryan and Catriona McKenzie
• THE TURNING Robert Connolly, Maggie Miles and The Turning Ensemble
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION
• THE GREAT GATSBY Baz Luhrmann (WINNER)
• MYSTERY ROAD Ivan Sen
• THE ROCKET Kim Mordaunt
• THE TURNING The Turning Ensemble
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
• 100 BLOODY ACRES Colin Cairnes and Cameron Cairnes
• DRIFT Morgan O'Neill and Tim Duffy
• MYSTERY ROAD Ivan Sen
• THE ROCKET Kim Mordaunt (WINNER)
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
• ADORATION Christopher Hampton
• DEAD EUROPE Louise Fox
• THE GREAT GATSBY Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce (WINNER)
• THE TURNING The Turning Ensemble
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTOR
• Leonardo DiCaprio THE GREAT GATSBY (WINNER)
• Sitthiphon Disamoe THE ROCKET
• Ewen Leslie DEAD EUROPE
• Hugo Weaving THE TURNING
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST LEAD ACTRESS
• Rose Byrne THE TURNING (WINNER)
• Carey Mulligan THE GREAT GATSBY
• Tasma Walton MYSTERY ROAD
• Naomi Watts ADORATION
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
• Marton Csokas DEAD EUROPE
• Joel Edgerton THE GREAT GATSBY (WINNER)
• Thep Phongam THE ROCKET
• Angus Sampson 100 BLOODY ACRES
AACTA AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
• Elizabeth Debicki THE GREAT GATSBY (WINNER)
• Isla Fisher THE GREAT GATSBY
• Mirrah Foulkes THE TURNING
• Alice Keohavong THE ROCKET