In next week’s issue, I’ll have my huge Oscars form guide and details on how you can enter my 10th annual Pick The Oscars contest.  Which 5 categories will I choose this year?  They certainly won’t be any of the acting categories which seem all but locked in.


I thought I’d use this blog to catch up on a few little things which I’ve neglected to mention over the past few weeks.




The last piece of the Oscar jigsaw was fitted into place with this morning’s BAFTA Awards.  The British tend to favour their own but it was still nice to see the wins of Colin Firth (for A Single Man) and Carey Mulligan (for An Education).  I’m utterly convinced that Mulligan gave a better performance than Streep and Bullock but it won’t count for much at the Oscars.  I can always hope for a surprise.


Best supporting actor and supporting actress went to Christoph Waltz and Mo’nique respectively.  Both have plans to extend their homes to accommodate the 15 million awards that they’ve won over the past 2 months.


And yes, The Hurt Locker juggernaut rolls on with its win in the best picture category.  It’s now the clear favourite.  Centrebet has it listed at $1.75 with Avatar at $2.00.  I expect it to shorten further in the coming days.  The race is run as far as I’m concerned – The Hurt Locker has the Oscar in the bag.


Oscars – Special Screenings


Quite a few of the Oscar best picture nominees are currently showing in cinemas but a few opened during the middle of 2009.


Dendy Portside are putting on special screenings over the next two weeks for those nominees you might have missed.  They are for District 9 (Mar 6, Mar 7), Inglourious Basterds (Mar 6, Mar 7), A Serious Man (Feb 24, Mar 3) and Up (Feb 27, Feb 28).  You can find out more info on the Dendy website.


Having seen The Blind Side over the weekend, I’ve now chalked up all of the best picture nominees.  If I were an Academy member, my votes using the new preferential voting system would be:


1. Avatar, 2. An Education, 3. Up In The Air, 4. A Serious Man, 5. District 9, 6. The Hurt Locker, 7. Precious, 8. The Blind Side, 9. Up, 10. Inglourious Basterds.


I know that sounds harsh putting Inglourious Basterds in the 10th slot but I actually thought all of this year’s nominees were pretty good and there were just a few issues I had with Basterds (relating to the ending) that don’t sit well with me.


Avatar - $100m In Australia!


On 12 February 2010, Avatar passed the $100m mark in Australia.  Many people thought it would be big but I don’t think many thought it would be THIS BIG.  To put it into perspective, here are the top 5 films of all time at the Australian box-office…


1.     Avatar (2009) - $102.6m

2.     Titanic (1997) - $57.6m

3.     Shrek 2 (2004) - $50.3m

4.     Lord Of The Rings; The Return Of The King - $49.3m

5.     Crocodile Dundee (1986) - $47.7m


Prior to Avatar, just 2 films had cracked the $50m barrier.  So aside from Titanic, Avatar can now say that it has more than double the box-office of every single film ever released in Australia.  It has obliterated the previous record and when it finally finishes up, it’ll set a new benchmark that will seem unattainable.  It’s been a great few months to be a cinema owner.


Brisbane International Film Festival


Still no news on a venue but the Brisbane International Film Festival has been confirmed for November 4-14 this year.  This is the first time it’s moved away from its traditional July to August period and it should give the festival a fresh feel.  All those scarves and jumpers I bought last year will be of no use this time around.  It’ll be interesting to see if the new dates attract a better list of films and marquee guests.  Time will tell.


French Film Festival


Outside of BIFF, one of the biggest film festivals of the year is the French Film Festival.  This year’s dates are March 17 to 31 and it will be hosted by the Palace Centro and Barracks.


There will be over 40 new French films in 6 distinctive sections.  Micmacs, the new film from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie), will launch the festival on its Opening Night.  Jeunet will be in Australia to promote the film but sadly won’t be coming to Brisbane.


You can check out the program by visiting the festival website at  Tickets are already on sale with most films costing $16 for adults.




Last but not least, I caught my first play of 2010 on Saturday night.  I know the story of Hamlet pretty well but I still struggle with Shakespearean dialect when it’s delivered at breakneck speed.  Some of the contemporary elements were also a little too modern for my liking.  They’re the only qualms I can think of.


The play was very good with Toby Schmitz strong in the leading role.  I really liked the opening minute – where the theatre was plunged into darkness (I couldn’t even see the person in front of me) and a loud, thundering soundtrack could be heard.  It’s on at the La Boite theatre for the next few weeks so be sure to check it out.  Next on the menu is The Little Dog Laughed – tickets booked for March 12.