JACKI WEAVER has emerged as a contender for another Academy Award nomination.
After winning acclaim for playing the terrifying crime matriarch "Smurf" Cody in Animal Kingdom, the veteran Australian actress's latest Hollywood movie is David O'Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, a poignant comedy about a depressed teacher (played by Bradley Cooper) who is released from a psychiatric hospital into the care of his parents (Robert De Niro and Weaver).
Fairfax critic Garry Maddox reports that the film has won the top audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival, a prize previously picked up by such future Oscar winners as The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and American Beauty.
The film industry bible, the Hollywood Reporter, says Silver Linings Playbook is a serious contender for a batch of nominations, including Weaver for best supporting actress.
Another actress being widely tipped to feature during the awards season is Quvenzhane Wallis, who stars as a sparky six-year-old named Hushpuppy in the American swamp fantasy Beasts of the Southern Wild.
One of the year's most original movies, Beasts opened modestly in Australia last weekend, taking just $121,000 in 24 cinemas.
The biggest splash in cinemas was the animated Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, which took almost $4 million.