Oscars nominations: A hefty 10 (Best Picture, Best Director for George Miller, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Make-Up and Hair, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects)
Synopsis: From the beginning of the film, we know this is a savage world. In brilliant cinematic shorthand, Max (Tom Hardy) eats a live lizard and quickly gets picked up by skeletal warriors. Max is kept prisoner as a “blood bag,” a sort of health slave used for transfusing blood into injured fighters. He is brought to the Citadel, ruled by the Lobo-esque Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), who represses the population by keeping a tight control on the water supply. The violent Joe sends a shipment of water out with one of his troop leaders, the Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron). However, Furiosa makes a detour, and Immortan Joe discovers that she has taken his harem of beautiful breeding women with her. A chase through the desert then ensues, with Max hitched up to a vehicle to keep feeding one of the injured warriors, enthusiastically pursuing the prized bevy. Max manages to escape his captors and joins Furiosa and her gang in their exodus to a green land of many mothers. (Read the rest of the original review here.)
How many Oscars is it going to win: For Mad Max: Fury Road, we are just happy it is nominated. Full-on action films rarely are, so we are glad it is there for more than just the technical awards. Still, Fury Road will only win the technical awards. Its big rival for these is of course The Revenant. Fury Road should win out for Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing; this is a dynamic film with a soundscape more memorable than its dialogue (no screen play nominations here). Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, and Best Hair and Make-up are other possible awards the film may win, but I don’t think it will because the Oscars prefer historical frippery like those seen in The Revenant. George Miller is the front runner for the directing honour; the intelligence and energy of Mad Max is largely born from him, and the Oscars love a comeback.
The best film award will elude Mad Max: Fury Road. It is very rare for a movie without acting nominations to win Best Picture. Add to that this is an action film, it just won’t happen, despite being my favourite movie of last year.
Will you enjoy this contender: Now out on DVD, Mad Max: Fury Road has something for everyone, being part action film, part scifi dystopia, and part feminist track. Its got brains, beauty and excitement. My only caveat is that this is not a family film and will put off people who dislike screen violence. Otherwise, this has got to be the film I have recommended most in the last year.