One of the big surprises of the awards season has been the momentum of “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
One of the hit movies of the summer with over $375 million earned worldwide and a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it seemed like another one of those beloved blockbusters that would be shut out come awards time.
But since its surprise best-movie win from the National Board of Review earlier this month, the latest entry in the “Max Max” series of action films has raked in honours from other critic guilds as well as two Golden Globes nominations (Best Picture and Best Director).
So is Oscar next?
“At this point I’d be shocked if ‘Mad Max’ didn’t get a Best Picture nomination,” Yahoo Movies’ senior editor Kevin Polowy told Business Insider. “Recognition from the Golden Globes, National Board of Review, and AFI has really validated it as a serious Oscar contender.”
This is the kind of situation Hollywood wanted following the snubbing of 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” which many thought should have received a Best Picture Oscar nomination. That backlash led to the Academy expanding the Best Picture category’s number of potential nominees to a maximum of 10 to give more than cerebral dramas a chance.
But the love for “Fury Road” is not universal among Academy voters — and the history of what gets awarded is stacked against it.
“When I saw it, I thought that it was really stupid,” one Oscar voter told BI. “I’m not going to vote for it.”
And it sounds like he’s not alone. “I had dinner with another voter the other night and that person felt the same way I do. That person isn’t voting for it,” the voter said. “It’s fun and interesting to look at, but it’s definitely not in my top five.” Which is the number of films each voter selects for the Best Picture category’s nominating process.
Since the Best Picture expansion to 10 potential nominees in 2009, only four genre-oriented films have made it into the Best Picture category: “Avatar” (2009), “District 9” (2009), “Inception” (2010), and “Gravity” (2013). And of those, none was a sequel in a longtime franchise, and none won.
We’ll see when Academy Awards nominations are announced on January 14 if “Fury Road” will be added to this short list.