‘Hacksaw Ridge’ nabs two gongs at surreal 2017 Oscars
Luke Bracey and Mel Gibson on the Bringelly set of 'Hacksaw Ridge'. (Photo credit: Mark Rogers)
This year's Oscars ceremony went off alright, but not without a hitch (or two).
During the In Memoriam section, a photo of Australian producer Jan Chapman (Love Serenade, Lantana, The Babadook) was shown next to the name of late costume designer Janet Patterson, with whom Chapman worked on several Jane Campion films including The Piano, Bright Star and Holy Smoke.
Patterson died in October last year. Her final film was Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd, starring Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts.
“I was devastated by the use of my image in place of my great friend and long-time collaborator Janet Patterson," the still-very-much-breathing Chapman told Variety.
"I had urged her agency to check any photograph which might be used and understand that they were told that the Academy had it covered. Janet was a great beauty and four-time Oscar nominee and it is very disappointing that the error was not picked up. I am alive and well and an active producer.”
That snafu was followed by one that nobody could miss, in which presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly awarded Best Picture to La La Land after being handed the wrong envelope by Price Waterhouse Coopers wranglers in the wings.
As the La La Land producers began to make their speeches, it was clear something was wrong, with Academy staff in headsets buzzing around behind them.
Soon the real envelope emerged (from where is still unclear) awarding Best Picture to Moonlight. La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz took the card and displayed it to the cameras while calling the Moonlight crew on stage, declaring to the assembled that "this is not a joke".
Earlier in the proceedings, Lion scribe Luke Davies missed out on Best Adapted Screenplay (it went to Moonlight) and Tanna was pipped for Best Foreign Language Film by Asgar Farhadi's The Salesman.
Aussies Andy Wright (Spear, Last Cab to Darwin), Robert Mackenzie (Animal Kingdom, Sherpa) and Peter Grace (Happy Feet, Gods of Egypt) and American Kevin O'Connell received the Sound Mixing Oscar for their work on Hacksaw Ridge, while Hacksaw's Kiwi editor John Gilbert (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) took out the Film Editing gong.
Gilbert is currently in LA cutting another Icon production, The Professor and the Madman, based on Simon Winchester's 1998 book The Surgeon of Crowthorne and starring Mel Gibson, Sean Penn and Steve Coogan.
Nicole Kidman missed out on Best Supporting Actress to Fences' Viola Davis, while Lion DP Greig Fraser lost out on best cinematography to La La Land's Linus Sandgren.
In addition to the players behind Tanna, Hacksaw and Lion, Aussie Jason Billington was also nominated for Achievement in Visual Effects for his work on Mark Wahlberg-starrer Deepwater Horizon. That award went to Jon Favreau's live-action remake of The Jungle Book.
In a statement, Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason applauded the record number of nominations, 13 in total, received by Aussie films this year, which he called "truly monumental when you consider Australia is a country that makes around 30 films a year and has a population of just 23 million."
“It’s a credit to the creative teams of Lion, Hacksaw Ridge and Tanna; it’s thanks to the training they had here and abroad; and it’s due to Australian tax payers investing in our stories and our home-grown creativity.”