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Gibson seeks Globe, Hollywood redemption

AAP logoAAP 7/01/2017 Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent

Mel Gibson has shaved the wild beard off his face, but can he shake off the ugly monkey that has been hanging on his back the past decade?

He can take a giant step in the right direction with a win or two on Sunday (Monday AEDT) at the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills.

The awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton is a major hurdle in reasonably friendly territory for the Australian-raised, onetime king of Hollywood turned recent outcast.

Gibson is nominated for best director for Hacksaw Ridge, beating Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and other elite filmmakers for one of the five slots in the prized category.

Gibson once again showed his mastery for filming highly-complex war scenes, but also drew out tender, emotional performances from his actors led by US-born, British-raised Andrew Garfield, who is also up for a best actor in a drama nod.

"Mel was the best director to make the movie," Hacksaw Ridge's US producer and former Hollywood studio executive Bill Mechanic told AAP.

"I didn't care about what happened in the past.

"We did Braveheart together 20 years ago and what he did on the battlefield and understanding Mel, I knew he was the right guy."

Australia is well represented at this year's Globes, with Nicole Kidman up for supporting actress for her performance based on a true story of a Tasmanian mother who adopts an Indian orphan in the tear-jerker Lion.

Kidman, enjoying the 11th Globe nod of her career, is competing against favourite Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea).

Sydney's Joel Edgerton is a long shot in the best actor in a drama category for Loving, also based on the true story of a white construction worker prosecuted for marrying a black woman in the US in 1958.

Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea) is the red hot favourite, with Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic ) and Denzel Washington (Fences) all outsiders.

Australia's reputation for making quality movies with skilled crews will be showcased with Hacksaw Ridge - filmed in Sydney and rural NSW - and Lion - shot in Tasmania and India - competing for the best dramatic film.

Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight are the favourites.

The Globes have separate musical/comedy categories, which weakens the ability to project winners at next month's Oscars but Globe wins do generate a tsunami of pre-Oscar positive publicity.

It's the antidote Gibson needs to turn the tide of vitriol he received after allegedly blasting a Jewish LA County sheriff with anti-Semitic rants during a 2006 drink driving arrest.

His volatile relationship with Russian pianist Oksana Grigorieva also resulted in accusations of physical abuse and the leaking of audio recordings of Gibson allegedly uttering sexist and racist comments.

The Globes has been one of the regular public appearances for Gibson during the period where Hollywood power brokers shunned Gibson, with ceremony organisers inviting him to be a presenter.

The invites may have been a TV ratings ploy as former host Ricky Gervais was always ready to roast him on stage.

This year the brutal British comic is not the host, with the giggly, softer US TV talkshow host Jimmy Fallon the master of ceremonies.

More of a challenge for Gibson is his strong competition in the directing category - Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea).

If Gibson wins and Hacksaw Ridge is victorious for best picture they will be huge upsets that set up a serious assault on the Oscars.

It likely won't happen.

But, Hollywood does love a comeback story.

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