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Mel Gibson continues his run through awards season.
The film’s star Andrew Garfield also scored a best actor mention for the film about a conscientious objector in World War II, a coup for Gibson given that the actor also was being considered for the same category for his role in Martin Scorsese’s Silence. The Lionsgate drama was also nominated for best picture, film editing, sound mixing and sound editing.
Gibson thanked his cast and crew in a statement and said the Academy’s recognition of the film is “a testament to every single person who worked on Hacksaw Ridge, and to every soldier who made the sacrifices they made to fight for their country, including Desmond Doss.”
“What could be more exciting than listening to the nominations being announced while holding my newborn son!” added Gibson. “This is a truly wonderful honor. I’m especially happy for Andrew Garfield, our producers Bill Mechanic and David Permut, our editor John Gilbert and our incredible sound teams.”
Producer Bill Mechanic tells THR he spent 15 years trying to convince Gibson to direct Hacksaw Ridge. “The first two times he passed.” “The third time, he read the script overnight and committed in the morning.” He says Hacksaw is a tribute to Gibson’s incredible talent. “I think it also shows there is forgiveness in Hollywood even if it might not seem that way.”
Gibson had become a Hollywood pariah following a DUI arrest in July 2006, when the Oscar-winning Braveheart director hurled statements about “f—ing Jews” at an officer. Within hours, the arrest report was leaked, and the industry turned a cold shoulder on Gibson’s awards-season contender Apocalypto.
Gibson publicly denounced his words and asked for forgiveness. Hacksaw Ridge marks his first directorial effort since Apocalypto.
But Hacksaw Ridge has been garnering Oscar-level praise (THR‘s David Rooney called the movie a “forceful comeback … that succeeds in combining horror with grace”), and the once-embattled star is poised for a resurgence.
Gibson, who this year beat out veteran directors for the nom including Scorsese and Clint Eastwood (Sully), will compete for the best director Oscar against La La Land‘s Damien Chazelle, Arrival‘s Denis Villenueve, Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins and Manchester by the Sea‘s Kenneth Lonergan.
Gibson and his film also have earned other accolades this awards season, including best picture and best director Golden Globe nominations and won nine of 13 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts awards for which it was nominated. Gibson was honored as director of the year at the Capri Hollywood Festival.
Gibson last nabbed Oscar nominations in 1996 for Braveheart, which won best director and best picture. During his time in “director’s jail” he acted in films including Machete Kills and Expendables 3.
Hacksaw Ridge, which has an A CinemaScore, is succeeding at the box office as well, earning nearly $158 million worldwide to date.
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