MASTER AND COMMANDER
Australian director PETER WEIR
(Producer/Director/Screenplay) is renowned for such films as Gallipoli,
Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Year of Living Dangerously, Witness, Dead Poets
Society and The Truman Show.
Weir received an Academy Award nomination for
Best Director in 1999 for The Truman Show, which starred Jim Carrey as
Truman Burbank, the unwitting star of the longest-running, most popular
documentary-soap opera in history. Ed Harris (Best Actor in a Supporting Role)
and Andrew Niccol (Best Screenplay written directly for the screen) received
Academy Award nominations for their work on the critically acclaimed film, which
also earned six Golden Globe nominations, including a Best Director nomination
for Weir, and a Golden Globe win for Jim Carrey, as Best Actor in a Motion
Picture Drama. In addition, Weir was honored by BAFTA with the David Lean Award
for Direction for the film.
In 1991, Weir received an Academy Award
nomination for the screenplay of his romantic comedy Green Card, which
starred French actor Gerard Depardieu (in his first English-speaking role) and
Andie MacDowell. Weir's previous film, Dead Poets Society, a character
drama starring Robin Williams as a joyously eccentric English teacher who
inspires his students, earned the director an Academy Award nomination for Best
Director as well as the prestigious BAFTA Award for Best Picture and Italy's
Donatello Award for Best Direction.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Weir began his
moviemaking career with three prize-winning short films before directing The
Cars That Ate Paris, an offbeat comedy-horror film based on his own short
story. His first international motion picture success came in 1975 with Picnic
at Hanging Rock, which brought him widespread attention and became the most
successful Australian film of the 1970s.
In 1977, Weir directed The Last Wave,
starring Richard Chamberlain as a lawyer haunted by recurring dreams. He then
wrote and directed The Plumber (1978), an unusual black comedy made for
television that won the Australian Sammy Award for best writer-television plays
and best television play.
Weir's next film, Gallipoli, the story
of two Australian youths caught up in the idealistic fervor of World War I,
swept the Australian Film Institute Awards and became a worldwide box office
success. In 1983, Weir reunited with his Gallipoli star Mel Gibson for The
Year of Living Dangerously, which starred Gibson, Linda Hunt and Sigourney
Weaver. Hunt won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her memorable
work in the film.
In 1985, Weir directed Harrison Ford in Witness,
the haunting thriller in which a young Amish boy becomes a witness to murder,
sparking a clash of cultures within his community. The film received eight
Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and a Best Direction
nomination for Weir.
In 1986, Weir directed The Mosquito Coast,
again starring Harrison Ford, and in 1993, Fearless, a drama about people's
varying reactions to tragedy and loss, which starred Jeff Bridges, Rosie Perez,
Isabella Rossellini and John Turturro.
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