Hollywood blockbuster The Great Gatsby may lead the nominations, but the field for the 3rd AACTA Awards (formerly the AFI Awards) is nothing if not diverse.
Competing against Gatsby in the Best Film category are a three-hour anthology of Tim Winton stories, The Turning; an outback noir, Mystery Road; an inspirational portrait of poverty in Laos, The Rocket; a sordid European story based on a Christos Tsiolkas novel, Dead Europe; and a contemporary Aboriginal fable, Satellite Boy.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for Best Actor for Gatsby. DiCaprio is up against ten-year-old Laotian kid Sitthaphon Disamoe, the engaging star of The Rocket, as well as admired stage actor Ewen Leslie for Dead Europe and oddly enough, Hugo Weaving, who appears in just one ten-minute sequence in The Turning.
Best Actress nominees are Rose Byrne in The Turning, Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby, Tasma Walton in Mystery Road and Naomi Watts in Adoration – a divisive film that has been otherwise shut out of competition.
Elizabeth Debicki and Isla Fisher go head-to-head in the Supporting Actress category, both for Gatsby. Mirrah Foulkes in The Turning and Alice Keohavong in The Rocket are their competition. Joel Edgerton's supporting Gatsby turn competes against Marton Csokas's (Dead Europe), Thep Phongam's (The Rocket) and Angus Sampson's in 100 Bloody Acres.
Baz Luhrmann has been nominated for Best Director, as has Ivan Sen (Mystery Road), Kim Mordaunt (The Rocket) and the 18 collective directors of The Turning.
The nominees were announced at the Star, Sydney on Tuesday afternoon, December 3. Winners will be announced at events on Tuesday January 28 and Thursday January 30.