by Landon Palmer.
Peter Weir has a career whose many twists and turns that, individually, would on their own fill other filmmakers’ entire careers. He started off as a force to be reckoned with in the burgeoning 1970s Australian New Wave, and his second, feature, Picnic at Hanging Rock, placed him on the international arthouse map. His investment in Australian national cinema continued with bigger, bolder productions in the early 1980s including Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously.
Then Weir mastered a special kind of prestige, adult-geared Hollywood drama that today seems dwindling outside a kind of Oscar bait. Films including Witness, Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show and Master and Commander combined populist appeal with a delicate, patient, layered filmmaking sensibility that intricately constructed the unique worlds in which these characters resided, bringing some of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars to the best performances of their careers in the process.
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