2016 Oscars Challenge: [36] “Mad Max: Fury Road” – Best Picture

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FILM SYNOPSIS: Years after an apocalypse has devastated the world, Australia has become a wasteland ruled by outlaws hoarding fuel, water and other resources. Desperate to escape a tyrant called Immortan Joe, loner Max Rockatansky joins forces with Imperator Furiosa, who is fleeing from Joe and his fanatical followers with a precious cargo that she has smuggled from Joe’s stronghold.


There was a sudden epiphany that came to me as I was catching up with the blogging for this Oscar Challenge and that was the fact that if “Mad Max: Fury Road” has 10 nominations and will likely sweep the technical awards, why isn’t it being considered in the Best Picture race? Just because it is not the normal Academy fodder that finds its way into the nominations? Just because it didn’t win any of the guilds that were nominating it but not giving it the wins? The guilds have been indecisive, the pundits are at a loss for what will win, placing their bets on “Spotlight,” “The Big Short,” and “The Revenant” because that’s what the guilds placed their support towards. But if the Academy really wanted to stand out of the pack, they would give Best Picture to “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

On my official work Oscar pool, I have “Mad Max: Fury Road” down for six out of ten wins, pulling in Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing and Mixing, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Film Editing. It is visionary work and all these elements are simply beyond their competitors and for that, it should win. But as I’m going over these in more depths and hearing about all the records that must be broken for Alejandro and “The Revenant” to win this year, I realized that every time we see a split year, which seems to happening more lately, Best Directing usually goes to the technical film. George Miller was considered a front-runner even before the nominations but when support starting rolling toward Alejandro, everyone changed their tune. Suddenly I’m realizing the stronger chance lies in Miller winning Best Directing and “The Revenant” winning Best Picture. But I err on the side of making history, so for that I personally will still jump behind Alejandro’s win.

That being said, “Mad Max: Fury Road” pulled off a huge feat by making it into the conversation this year, not feeling like Oscar fodder in any sense of the word. It turned Hollywood conventions on their heads and became a favorite among cinema lovers across the board. The fact that it will likely be raking in some strong gold is such a great achievement and will hopefully open the door for these breaking of conventions for years to come. With no writing or acting awards, Best Picture is definitely not in the question. But like I said, if the Academy was really in it to set themselves apart, I’m sure no one would actually complain.

Previous nominations? This is the second Academy Award nomination for Doug Mitchell. He was previously nominated for:

  • BABE (1995)
    Nominee, Best Picture

Including his nomination this year for Directing for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. This is the sixth Academy Award nomination for George Miller. He was previously nominated for:

  • HAPPY FEET (2006)
    Winner, Animated Feature Film
  • BABE (1995)
    Nominee, Best Picture
  • BABE (1995)
    Nominee, Writing (Adapted)
  • LORENZO’S OIL (1992)
    Nominee, Writing (Original)

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// Produced by Doug Mitchell, George Miller, and P. J. Voeten // Directed by George Miller //
// Dated Viewed: Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 // BLU-RAY //  6 films – 6 days //

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