Peter WeirVersatile Director from Down Under
The finest filmmaker to emerge from the Australian New Wave.
An Australian director with a wildly varied body of work, Peter Weir initially became renowned for 1975's Picnic at Hanging Rock, an atmospheric story about the disappearance of a group of schoolgirls. Weir was instrumental in the maturation of Aussie cinema during the '70s and '80s, and, moving on to Hollywood, he became known for his rapport with actors, helping to expand the dramatic horizons of several major celebrities, including Harrison Ford (with the taut thriller Witness garnering the actor's only Oscar nomination), Robin Williams, and Jim Carrey. From the unwitting utopia-dwelling star of The Truman Show to the disconnected plane-crash survivor in Fearless, Weir's films often focus on characters at odds with their environment. His productions are meticulously planned and artfully shot, usually with cinematographer Russell Boyd, ranging in scope from the small-scale drama of the poignant Dead Poets Society to expansive adventures such as the nautical epic Master and Commander and the Siberian fugitive tale The Way Back. Nominated for numerous Oscars, Weir tends to take his time on every project, with each film thoughtfully exploring how people face adversity in bold and powerful ways.