And the Oscar goes to……

ACADEMY AWARDS:

The Bug examines some of the hot Aussie stars who could be bringing home an Academy Award when winners are announced in Hollywood on February 26.

Scott Morrison and Warren Mundine in Green Book

Two of the nation’s leading performers star in this tale of a white man driving a black man into personally dangerous and politically hostile territory. It may be that Scott Morrison and Warren Mundine (main picture) deserve to share the best actor Oscar for their performances in Green Book. They flawlessly play men from opposite sides of the political fence who embark on a journey that will ultimately change both of their lives forever.

Bill Shorten in The Favourite

Some disparage his wooden acting style and his obviously over-rehearsed delivery but despite his scenery-chewing efforts there’s no denying Bill Shorten owns the lead role in The Favourite. Critics say despite the prohibition on running campaigns for awards, Shorten has been sailing close to the wind by regularly being filmed literally running. They doubt this will influence his chances on Oscar night, and even point to the possibility of it losing him votes by constantly exposing his awkwardly dainty running style and jiggling man boobs. Whether he takes home the golden statuette is now up to the judges.

oscars abbottTony Abbott in Bohemian Rhapsody

Veteran Aussie actor Tony Abbott (pictured) freely admits he signed up to star in Bohemian Rhapsody thinking it was a film about the Queen, not Queen. It was a very fortunate misunderstanding because he brings to life gay icon Freddy Mercury as if he were inside him. Gossip from the set suggested Abbott even wanted to perform I Want To Break Free covered in baby oil and wearing nothing but red Speedos, however producers said no. Others involved in the film say Abbott went above and beyond in his preparation, even to the extent of learning to deliver more than three words of the script in each take.

Natalie Joyce in The Wife

This newcomer to a leading role has previously impressed with her supporting actor roles portraying the loyal and stoic spouse of a conceited, loudmouthed but basically talentless, womanising partner. It’s about time she was shown due recognition for the creative sacrifices she has made in her career that have allowed others to shine at her expense when awards have previously been handed out.

oscars FINAL starPeter Dutton and Mathias Cormann in A Star is Born

We’ve seen this story and the movie before. The latest remake reminds a new generation of moviegoers about the human ambitions and foibles that can often add up — or not — to shattered dreams or worse. Both Peter Dutton and Mathias Cormann (pictured) play their roles well, but ultimately bigger stars have emerged this year to eclipse them both and the two will need to rehabilitate their careers and reputations as the judges’ decisions are fast approaching.

Malcolm Turnbull in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Malcolm Turnbull signed up to star in Can You Ever Forgive Me? and even helped finance the film when it was in development under its original title Can I Ever Forgive You? The name-change hasn’t altered the fact that Turnbull plays a fraudster as if he isn’t even acting — repeatedly promising the real deal but delivering little or nothing.

Andrew Broad in Vice

For a previously completely unknown actor from Bumfuck NSW, Andrew Broad shines in Vice — a tale of ego and misplaced lust and affection based on the steamy true story of a very, very junior National Party minister all alone and far from home in Hong Kong with taxpayer dollars burning a hole in his pocket and basic, if somewhat illicit, human urges that demand satisfaction.

oscarspellGeorge Pell in At Eternity’s Gate

It may be the role of a lifetime, but former senior Vatican official and former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell (pictured), fails to live up to expectations in At Eternity’s Gate. Known to have hearing problems in real life, it’s as if Pell actually cut off his own good ear and wasn’t taking directions. Severe editing of his lines and performance has only fuelled the anger of film fans seeking a more expansive and honest portrayal.

David Littleproud in Roma

David Littleproud has in fact much to be proud of in his debut performance in Roma, the story of a Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources battling drought, brawls over water licensing, infiltration by far-right extremists and leadership tensions in his own party, and a marriage break-up — all set in one of the major towns in his electorate.