Mel Gibson is back in Hollywood’s awards race with three Golden Globe nominations for World War II drama “Hacksaw Ridge” for best director, best drama and best actor for Andrew Garfield.
The trio of nominations comes a decade after Gibson was arrested in 2006 for drunk driving and was caught on tape making anti-Semitic remarks to his arresting officer. He subsequently apologized following his arrest but was shunned during the awards season that year for his film “Apocalypto” and had not directed another movie until taking on “Hacksaw Ridge” in 2014.
Hacksaw Ridge” centers on the story of Desmond T. Doss, the only conscientious objector to ever be awarded a congressional Medal of Honor for heroism. Portrayed by Garfield, Doss was a Seventh-day Adventist who became a medic while adhering to his religious convictions of not carrying a weapon. He saved 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.
Gibson won the Golden Globes director trophy in 1995 for “Braveheart,” then went on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. He also received actor nominations for “Ransom” in 1997 and “What Women Want” in 2001.
“Hacksaw Ridge” is Gibson’s fifth directorial effort, following “The Man Without a Face,” “Braveheart,” “The Passion of the Christ” and “Apocalypto.” He told Variety at the Los Angeles premiere last month that he came on to the project after reading the screenplay by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan: “I read the script and was crying.”
The WWII drama has performed solidly at the U.S. box office for Lionsgate with $60 million after six weeks plus another $23 million overseas.
Gibson was a presenter at last January’s Golden Globes, which resulted in awkwardness after host Ricky Gervais joked in his introduction that “I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than with Bill Cosby.”
Gibson said in response, “I love seeing Ricky every three years, because it reminds me to get a colonoscopy.”
Both Gervais and Gibson later insisted that there were no hard feelings between them.