The Hollywood awards season has begun. Critics, directors, actors, producers and others look at this award season as stepping stones to the big night of Academy Awards. Same holds true for Australia in The Oscars 2016 race. This year, Australian movies are strong contenders in the Oscar hunt as films like “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Carol” and “Truth” have won critical acclaim and were been praised worldwide.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the awards season has entered a critical phase as Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards will be revealing the nominees on consecutive days. The SAG Award nominations are set to be announced on Wednesday (2am, Thursday, AEDT) and the Golden Globes nominations on Thursday (Midnight, Friday, AEDT). The Oscars 2016 award ceremony nominations will be revealed on Jan. 14, 2016. Australian movies are key contenders and they seem to be well-set for the season.

In the award circuit there are industry veterans such as “Mad Max: Fury Road” director George Miller, and Cate Blanchett along with cinematographer John Seale on one hand and on the other there is a new wave of Australian talent in the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Joel Edgerton, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn and Emily Browning.

Blanchett has already won two Oscars in the past and has been nominated three other times. This year, she has two films that can win her an Oscar in the Best Actress category for her roles in 1950s lesbian romantic movie “Carol” and the toher movie is “Truth” where she plays Mary Mapes, the “60 Minutes” producer.

Other actresses who are in the run are Browning for “Legend,” Nicole Kidman for “Secret in their Eyes” and Naomi Watts for “While We’re Young.” Rose Byrne’s performance in “Spy” has also been thoroughly appreciated and is definitely a contender for the Supporting Actress category.

Hemsworth has made headlines for his role in “In the Heart of the Sea.” Other strong male contenders for Best Actor category include Jason Clarke for “Everest” and Mendelsohn for “Mississippi Grind.” Edgerton has a chance for a Supporting Actor nomination for his role in “Black Mass” opposite Johnny Depp.

Documentary filmmakers Jennifer Peedom and Michael Ware, costume designers Janet Patterson and Michael Wilkinson are keeping their fingers crossed.

However, the talk of the town is most definitely the George Miller directed action movie “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Its chances of scoring an Oscar has multiplied after it recently won the best film of 2015 honour by National Board of Review, reports The New Daily. A number of Oscar experts and film critics are keeping the film in their top 10 list. Miller had previously won an Oscar for the animated film “Happy Feet.” His new movie stars English actor Tom Hardy and South Africa’s Charlize Theron.

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