If Bruce Beresford was looking to make an impression on Australian movie-goers in the 70s, he certainly did so with his ribald first feature film, The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.
It was the first Australian film ever to crack the million-dollar mark and set Beresford, born in Paddington, NSW, in 1940, on a 10-year film making frenzy, creating seminal films including Don’s Party, The Getting Of Wisdom, The Club and Breaker Morant, which is considered to be a classic of Australian cinema.
After the success of Breaker Morant, Beresford moved to Hollywood to make his first film, Tender Mercies, which earned him his only Academy Award nomination for Best Director, in 1982.
He also directed Driving Miss Daisy, with Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, which won a total of five Oscars including the Academy Award for best film in 1990.
Black Robe, considered one of the best of Beresford’s later films, won six Canadian Academy awards including best picture and best director. Then, in 2009, Mao’s Last Dancer again broke records for Beresford at the Australian box office and won countless festival honours.
Beresford is also an accomplished opera and theatre director and splits his time between Australia and the US.
This person has made the short list for the title National Living Treasure, this title is conferred when someone accomplishes an outstanding achievement, swelling the country’s consciousness with admiration, pride and acknowledgement... be they scientists or sports stars; actors, artists or Indigenous activists; politicians, philanthropists or explorers, The National Trust’s 2012 nominees are a true cross section of our country’s finest.
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