Peter Weir

Article

July 5, 2022

Peter Lindsay Weir [wɪə] (born August 21, 1944 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian director. His most famous films include Valentine's Day Picnic, Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show and Master & Commander. In 2022 he was awarded an honorary Oscar for his lifetime achievement.

Life

Weir studied art and law at the University of Sydney. Weir broke through in Australia with his first films The Cars That Ate Paris and Valentine's Day Picnic. Mel Gibson made his mark as a character actor in Gallipoli and A Year in Hell before he went global with action films. In The Last Flood, a film about the clash of indigenous culture and civilization, Richard Chamberlain played a lawyer whose dreams are haunted by an Aboriginal prophecy. Alongside George Miller and Bruce Beresford, Weir is often seen as part of the "Australian New Wave", a movement of young directors in the 1970s and 1980s that brought Australian film to international prominence for the first time. His first two films shot in the US, The Only Witness (1985) and Mosquito Coast (1986), allowed Harrison Ford to develop as a character actor. Weir's reputation as an actor-director also built on the subsequent films Dead Poets Society (1989), which established Robin Williams as a serious actor, and The Truman Show, for which Jim Carrey received a Golden Globe for his leading role in 1998. In between were the 1990 comedy Green Card, with which Gérard Depardieu tried to gain a foothold in American cinema, and Fearless, a film about the psychological consequences of a plane crash, with which Weir related to spiritual topics such as too returned at the beginning of his career. With the film Master & Commander - To the End of the World he made his first costume and action film, also with psychological undertones. In his last film The Way Back - The Long Way (2010) the escape of a group of prisoners of war from a Siberian prison camp during the Second World War is told. Peter Weir met his future wife, Wendy Stites, on a voyage to Europe. Back in Australia, the couple married in 1966. Daughter Ingrid Weir was born in 1973. The couple enjoyed great success when Wendy Stites provided the costumes for the adventure film Master & Commander, starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design for her husband's film, which she directed, wrote and produced. She was also instrumental in the success of the film The Way Back with Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell in 2010 with her work as a costume designer. In 2016, after 50 years of marriage, Peter Weir and Wendy Stites separated but never divorced. In June 2022, Weir received an honorary Academy Award for his services as a filmmaker from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The award will be presented to him in a ceremony on November 19, 2022 in Los Angeles.

Filmography

1971: Homesdale 1974 The Cars That Ate Paris 1975 Picnic at Hanging Rock 1977 The Last Wave 1979 The Plumber 1981: Gallipoli 1982 The Year of Living Dangerously 1985: The Only Witness (Witness) 1986: Mosquito Coast 1989: Dead Poets Society 1990: Green Card - sham marriage with obstacles (Green Card) 1993: Fearless - Beyond Fear (Fearless) 1998: The Truman Show 2003: Master & Commander - To the end of the world (Master and Commander: The Fa