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The National Board Review, whose list traditionally kicks off the annual Hollywood awards season, announced its surprising pick for best film of the year, giving the nod to Mad Max: Fury Road.
Many thought the New York-based body of film fans would choose a “less action-oriented film,” but it seems the board was all about action, adrenaline and adventure. In addition to its rather unconventional pick of director George Miller’s continuation of the Mad Max franchise for top movie, the board placed Creed, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, and Straight Outta Compton in its top ten.
The series’ fourth installment depicting a rebellion against a tyrannical ruler in a post-apocalyptic future stars Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy. While it was warmly reviewed and made about $376 million at the box office, it has not been seen as a likely contender for major awards like the Golden Globes or Oscars.
Most of the attention has been geared towards independent dramas like Spotlight, Brooklyn and Carol, which were all missing from the NBR’s list.
While the win is definitely a victory for Mad Max, Kevin Lincoln at Vulture writes, “don’t take this as a sign that ‘Mad Max’ is all of a sudden guaranteed to be a gate-crasher at the Oscars.” He reminds us that last year the NBR also made a rather unconventional pick by recognizing A Most Violent Year as the best film for 2014, “a decision that didn’t quite set the dominos falling for J.C. Chandor’s mostly under-the-radar ‘80s crime epic.”
In fact, A Most Violent Year, was completely shut out at the Academy Awards. The gala did prove to be one of the early stops for eventual best actress winner Julianne Moore, for her performance in Still Alice, however.
Board of Review president Annie Schulhof said in a statement: “2015 has been a banner year for popular cinema. We are thrilled to be awarding George Miller and Ridley Scott, two iconic filmmakers at the top of their game, while also celebrating the next generation of talent.”
The Board of Review will present its awards at a ceremony in New York on January 5, 2016.
The Hollywood awards season runs for three months, ending with the 88th Academy Awards ceremony that will take place on February 28, 2016.