First stop on the Mel Gibson 2016 awards season redemption tour was the weekend of Nov. 5-6. That Saturday, Gibson took part in a Q&A at Deadline’s annual Contenders event at the DGA Theatre in Hollywood, followed by a Sunday evening appearance at the Beverly Hilton hotel, where he was presented with the Hollywood Film Awards Director prize by Hacksaw Ridge co-stars Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn.
Next stop will be Sunday Dec. 11 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. As announced today, Gibson is among the seven nominees for the Critics’ Choice Awards category of Best Director. One voting member, Fox 5 San Diego’s Josh Board, is less than thrilled. He writes:
I might have to refrain from saying something rude to Gibson. I was disappointed to see his Hacksaw Ridge got a few nominations. That has to do with the fact that I don’t think Gibson is a changed person, and with Hollywood so quick to slap labels on Donald Trump being a racist and all these other things, Gibson has said and done much worse. Yet here he is, being praised for a movie that was actually poorly done in a number of ways.
Another BFCA member, Christian Toto, has a reaction post that does not clearly disclose his connection to the proceedings. He lists Hacksaw Ridge’s seven nominations as the top takeaway from this year’s kudos:
1. We Forgive You, Mel: Troubled auteur Gibson rebounded in a huge way with his World War II epic Hacksaw Ridge. The film netted seven Critics’ Choice nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Garfield) and Best Director. Will Gibson’s past continue to haunt him through Oscar season? Too soon to tell, but it’s hard not to remember the standing ovation given to Roman Polanski for his Best Director win on behalf of The Pianist.
Finally, Scott Feinberg, best known as THR’s awards pundit but also a Critics’ Choice voting member, thinks the momentum could definitely be building:
Hacksaw Ridge and Gibson landed picture and director noms, respectively, which is a very big deal, in that it may sort of cue the rest of the Hollywood community, and other awards groups, that it’s time to forgive, if not forget, Gibson’s past indiscretions.
Golden Globes host Jimmy Fallon might want to start tweaking his Gibson material now.