Amy (1998)
Awards and Critics

As the winner of 21 international film festival awards, the critical uptake of 'Amy' can be principally described as excellent, particularly overseas. 'Amy' became the Number One art house movie upon its release in Japan and France, with crossover appeal to family audiences. In France, as a result of winning the Grand Prix de Cinecole award, it will be included as a text for study in the high school curriculum as it; "was judged by 300 academics and teachers as the film with the most outstanding educational qualities. At least 90 per cent of the teachers voted for Amy." (Shaw, 1999, The Age.) It was also the only Australian film selected for the prestigious American Film Institute International Film Festival in Los Angeles. The critics categorised it as quality, art house and alternative cinema and many film festival awards and nominations were bestowed upon it.

These include:

Nominations -
Australian Film Industry awards November 1998 for
Best leading Actress - Rachel Griffiths
Best Original Screenplay - David Parker

Winner -
Best Film - Buff International Film Festival - Norway 1999
Best Film - Le Prix Education Nationale (Cinecole) Cannes Film Festival - France 1999
Best Film - Grand Prix Cannes Junior Cannes Film Festival - France 1999
Best Film - Golden Gryphon Giffoni Film Festival - Italy 1999
Best Film - Prix du Jury International Laon International Film Festival - France 1999
Best Film - Prix de Jeunesse Juru Graine de Cinephage Films de Femmes Festival - Paris 1999
Best Film - Grand Jury Award for outstanding contribution to humanity, Asian Pacific Film Festival - Hong Kong 1999
Best Film - The Crystal Heart Award - The Heartlands Film Festival, Indiannapolis - USA 1998
'Favourite Local Movie' Best Film - Australian People's Choice Awards - Australia 1998
Best Film - Brisbane International Film Festival - Australia 1998
Best Actress - Bronze Gryphon Award to Alana de Roma, Giffoni Film Festival - Italy 1999
Winner Gold ACS Award for Cinematography

Outside of the film festival circuits, media film critics were generally praising but were eager to criticise any perceived faults. This was particularly the case with more mainstream American media who basically panned the film calling it mush. "Here's hoping for a subtler directorial approach the next time around in this sap-fest, only Griffiths hits any sweet notes. " (Maynard, 2001, Mr Showbiz.)Critics believed the film's faults lied in the indecision concerning what specific genre of film 'Amy' is and what target audience 'Amy' was created for as Tass and Parker's combination of various elements did not conform to tradition Hollywood narrative conventions. Many found the comedy unappealing or simply out of place in a tragedy drama and found the array of eccentric minor characters as poorly devised. "These film makers enjoy adding a slight touch of surrealism to their movies, especially to the peripheral characters. In Amy this takes the form of stupid eccentrics, in particular singing policemen, which some may find the most appealing element of the film but which I found annoying; only a distraction from that which is so much more effective. " (Baker,1998.) The editing was also criticised for concentrating on its idiosyncrasies at the expense of the dramatic scenes. Comments suggested the singing was also defectively dubbed into the film. Yet Overall, the critics appeared to express optimistic commentary more frequently than condemnation and the lead actors received substantial praise throughout the worldwide media for their performances.


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