1 January 2002

Gillian Armstrong: Shades of Gray

Gillian Armstong hopes by the time you read this, there will be no need to introduce CHARLOTTE GRAY, the acclaimed Australian director’s latest film and her first in four years. If life has followed the script, word of mouth (not to mention a healthy dose of good ol’ fashioned movie marketing) following the Christmas US release of the $US25 million World War II drama should have thrust Armstrong‘s film into Acadamy Awards contention, and her star Cate Blanchette into the running for another Best Actress nomination.

"I'd be hopeful for Cate,” the 51 year old director of 14 feature films told Australian Style in December last year. Our audience with Armstrong takes place at a Bondi hotel, a week after locking off the final print and two days before flying out to LA to begin the US publicity tour, a task the director faced alone, with Blanchette due to give birth to her first baby.

"The poster has just gone up on every bus stop in LA,” said Armstrong. “We open in America on December 28 in a select group of cinemas and then we go wide in January, which means we become eligible for the Oscars. That's why we've been working day and night to finish the film, but we literally only finished the mix three weeks ago. I mean, we had to screen a workprint with a ‘temp’ mix for all the long-lead magazines in America, and we’ve only locked off the final print ourselves a week ago.”