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'Elvis' Has Been Named the Best Australian Film of the Year at the 2022 AACTA Awards

Baz Luhrmann's flashy biopic picked up 11 awards, including Best Actor for Austin Butler, while 'Mystery Road: Origin' won big in the TV fields.
By Sarah Ward
December 08, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
December 08, 2022
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Australia's film and television industry can't help falling in love with the year's biggest homegrown movie, the director behind it, and the actors bringing to life one of the 20th century's music icons and his wife. At the 2022 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic said "thank you, thank you very much" to a swag of gongs, winning 11 from 15 nominations. Yes, Elvis was truly in the building, and revelling in a hunk, a hunk of burning love.

Back in October when the list of contenders was announced, Elvis was instantly the frontrunner, with the film maintaining Luhrmann's history of making flicks that earn AACTA's affection. Indeed, Australia's biggest movie and TV awards have also given Best Film to Strictly Ballroom and The Great Gatsby in the past, and showered all of the director's features with nominations. It comes as zero astonishment, then, that his take on the king of rock 'n' roll has come out on top this year.

As well as Best Film, Elvis earned the Best Actor gong for Austin Butler for playing the man himself, the Best Supporting Actress prize for Olivia DeJonge for her role as Priscilla Presley and Best Director for Luhrmann. Also among its trophies: Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Visual Effects or Animation, and Best Sound.

Elvis wasn't the only Aussie hit of the past year to win big, however, with Mystery Road: Origin collecting seven awards from 15 nominations in the television fields: for Best Drama Series, Best Lead Actor in a Drama (for Mark Coles Smith), Best Lead Actress in a Drama (Tuuli Narkle), Best Cinematography in Television,  Best Direction in Drama or Comedy, Best Editing in Television and Best Sound in Television.

In an impressive night for Australia's Indigenous actors, Coles Smith and Narkle were joined by Leah Purcell, who picked up Best Actress in the film fields for The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson, plus Heartbreak High's Thomas Weatherall, the recipient of the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama gong back in the TV categories.

Elsewhere among the contenders, River won best documentary; The Stranger's Sean Harris won Best Supporting Actor and writer/director Thomas M Wright nabbed Best Screenplay; A Stitch In Time won Best Indie Film; and Brooke Satchwell won Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for The Twelve.

Across both film and TV, a heap of international names graced the acting nominations — a common AACTAs trend over the years — including Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton for Three Thousand Years of Longing, both Butler and Tom Hanks for Elvis, Harris for The StrangerJackie van Beek and Jemaine Clement for Nude Tuesday, Joanna Lumley for Falling for Figaro and Jamie Dornan for The Tourist — but only Butler and Harris emerged victorious.

Elvis' domination in the film categories isn't a surprise for another reason: AACTA history. When the Aussie academy loves something, it goes all in, with Nitram 2021's big winnerBabyteeth picking up seven awards in 2020, The Nightingale receiving six the year before, Sweet Country doing the same the year before that and Lion nabbing 12 in 2017. (Thanks to the likes of Hacksaw RidgeMad Max: Fury RoadThe DressmakerThe Great Gatsby and The Sapphires before that, the trend goes on.)

Here's a rundown of 2022's major AACTA nominations — and you can check out the full list on AACTA's website:

AACTA WINNERS AND NOMINEES 2022:

FILM AWARDS:

BEST FILM

Elvis — WINNER
Here Out West
Sissy
The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson
The Stranger
Three Thousand Years of Longing

BEST INDIE FILM

A Stitch In Time — WINNER
Akoni
Darklands
Lonesome
Pieces
Smoke Between Trees

BEST DIRECTION

Baz Luhrmann, Elvis — WINNER
Hannah Barlow and Kane Senes, Sissy
Leah Purcell, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson
Thomas M Wright, The Stranger
George Miller, Three Thousand Years of Longing

BEST LEAD ACTOR

Austin Butler, Elvis — WINNER
Rob Collins, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson
Joel Edgerton, The Stranger
Idris Elba, Three Thousand Years of Longing
Damon Herriman, Nude Tuesday

BEST LEAD ACTRESS

Aisha Dee, Sissy
Leah Purcell, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson — WINNER
Julia Savage, Blaze
Tilda Swinton, Three Thousand Years of Longing
Jackie van Beek, Nude Tuesday

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Simon Baker, Blaze
Jemaine Clement, Nude Tuesday
Malachi Dower-Roberts, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson
Tom Hanks, Elvis
Sean Harris, The Stranger — WINNER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jada Alberts, The Stranger
Jessica De Gouw, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson
Olivia DeJonge, Elvis — WINNER
Joanna Lumley, Falling For Figaro
Yael Stone, Blaze

BEST SCREENPLAY

Baz Luhrmann, Sam Bromell, Craig Pearce and Jeremy Doner, Elvis
Jackie van Beek, Nude Tuesday
Leah Purcell, The Drover's Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson
Thomas M Wright, The Stranger — WINNER
George Miller and Augusta Gore, Three Thousand Years of Longing

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Ablaze
Clean
Everybody's Oma
Franklin
Ithaka
River — WINNER

TELEVISION AWARDS:

BEST DRAMA SERIES

Bump
Heartbreak High
Love Me
Mystery Road: Origin — WINNER
The Tourist
Wolf Like Me

BEST TELEFEATURE OR MINISERIES

Barons
Savage River
The Twelve — WINNER
True Colours
Underbelly: Vanishing Act

BEST COMEDY PROGRAM

Aftertaste
Five Bedrooms
Hard Quiz
Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell — WINNER
Spicks and Specks
Summer Love

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

Mark Coles Smith, Mystery Road: Origin — WINNER
Jamie Dornan, The Tourist
James Majoos, Heartbreak High
Sam Neill, The Twelve
Hugo Weaving, Love Me

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

Isla Fisher, Wolf Like Me
Claudia Karvan, Bump
Kate Mulvany, The Twelve
Tuuli Narkle, Mystery Road: Origin — WINNER
Bojana Novakovic, Love Me

BEST COMEDY PERFORMER

Wayne Blair, Aftertaste
Patrick Brammall, Summer Love
Harriet Dyer, Summer Love
Tom Gleeson, Hard Quiz — WINNER
Charlie Pickering, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering
Doris Younane, Five Bedrooms

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

Hayley McElhinney, Mystery Road: Origin
Jacqueline McKenzie, Savage River
Heather Mitchell, Love Me
Brooke Satchwell, The Twelve — WINNER
Magda Szubanski, After the Verdict

BEST GUEST OR SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

Steve Bisley, Mystery Road: Origin
Brendan Cowell, The Twelve
Daniel Henshall, Mystery Road: Origin
Damon Herriman, The Tourist
Thomas Weatherall, Heartbreak High — WINNER

Published on December 08, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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