Kidman, Jackman, Robbie head Oscar charge
Australia's biggest stars are hunting for Academy Awards.
Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Margot Robbie have two potential Oscar films each while Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn and Jason Clarke also head into Hollywood awards season with strong performances in powerful movies.
Australian directors Craig Gillespie and Warwick Thornton are also in the mix with exceptional films.Last Jedi set for $215m opening in US
Thornton's Sweet Country, an Australian western set in the 1920s starring Hamilton Morris, Sam Neill and Bryan Brown, has become a darling at international film festivals and resulted in a globe-trotting promotional campaign for the Australian filmmaker.
"I was at Venice, Toronto, then Sydney, Adelaide, London, back to Toronto, then New York and after that back to Toronto and then Sydney," Thornton, detailing his travels, to AAP.
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The frequent flyer miles paid off, with Sweet Country winning top prizes at the Venice and Toronto festivals, both traditional launching pads for the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Kidman, a four-time Oscar nominee and winner in 2003 for The Hours, is in the running this season for The Beguiled and Killing of a Sacred Deer.
Jackman has contrasting roles generating buzz, with his singing-acting performance as PT Barnum in the musical The Greatest Showman almost certain to earn him a Golden Globe nomination next month in the musical/comedy best actor category and put him front and centre in Oscar voters' minds.Controversies rock Hollywood in 2017
Jackman is also a legitimate chance for his stark performance in Logan.
Robbie is riding a wave of strong reviews for I, Tonya the drama where she portrays US ice skater Tonya Harding in the 1994 attack of rival Nancy Kerrigan.
The film was directed by fellow Australian Gillespie.Assault laws in focus amid Weinstein saga
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Watts (The Glass Castle), Mendelsohn (The Darkest Hour) and Clarke (Mudbound) are also on awards pundits' best lists.
Globes nominations will be announced on December 11, SAG nods on December 13 while the Oscar nominations will be revealed on January 23.Jazz and pop singer Keely Smith dies at 89
The Academy Awards ceremony is on March 4.