Could 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Actually Get an Oscar Nomination?
By John Boone
The short answer: Yes.
The long answer: Despite Mad Max: Fury Road earning hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, scoring a whopping 97 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and cleaning up with 11 nominations at the AACTA Awards -- think the Academy Awards of Australia -- it remains a dark horse in the Oscar race.
Though the Academy is infamously stuffy about acknowledging big, popcorn blockbusters, we know that Warner Bros. is campaigning Fury Road for Best Picture, as well as for stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult, among other technical awards.
The movie will rightfully collect a number of technical nods, to be sure -- the Transformers movies are Academy Award-nominated, for Coma the Doof Warrior’s sake! -- and now, in contention for the major awards, the tide seems to be turning in Fury Road’s favor.
Though it was all but passed over by the SAG Awards -- collecting only one nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble -- the movie officially made its presence know today, when it picked up two Golden Globe nominations for Best Director (with George Miller edging out heavyweights like Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino) and Best Picture.
More promising still, Fury Road was named Best Picture of the Year by the National Board of Review. In the past five years, four of the films selected -- with the exception of A Most Violent Year in 2014 -- have gone on to earn Oscar nominations.
It was also runner-up for Best Film at the L.A. Film Critics’ Awards, following Spotlight, and the LAFC have a nearly 100 percent success rate of predicting Academy nominations, with many runner-ups also following suit. Plus, Miller won Best Director here.
Which is all to say, Academy Award nominee Mad Max: Fury Road might not be far off. In fact, even discounting acting nominations (Theron as Furiosa is the strongest bet, but she faces a nearly impenetrable race when you consider the Cates, Rooneys, and Saoirses this year), between the makeup and costumes, the visual effects, the sound mixing, and strong possibilities for Best Picture and Best Director, it might be one of the most nominated movies of the year.
Now, find out what gift Mel Gibson gave Hardy when he signed on to Mad Max: