After the tragic passing of actor Alan Rickman earlier today, we all needed something which would pick us back up – for me, that was the Academy Award nominations. Usually I apppreciate the films nominated, however much of awards season is unrepresentative of the year in film because it only ever focuses on a specific bunch of movies – character-driven dramas which deal with difficult subject matter, or have strong name recognition behind them such as Meryl Streep or, nowadays, Jennifer Lawrence. Sometimes there are films nominated which aren’t even good – they’re just there because they fit into that category, and to fill slots.
Therefore, I was incredibly overjoyed when I read that Mad Max: Fury Road has scored a whopping ten nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director.
Best Costume Design
Best Hair and Make-Up
Best Production Design
Best Sound Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Visual Effects
That’s a pretty freakin’ impressive list.
It’ll definitely take home Hair and Make-Up, Production Design, Costume Design, Visual Effects, and probably one or both of the Sound awards – none of the other films nominated in the technical categories really excel past Fury Road – but that will probably be it for the ultimate road-rage movie. Then again, none of us expected it to get this many nominations, sooo….
As for the rest of the awards, I haven’t seen nearly enough of these movies to properly comment. However, I am incredibly happy that Ex Machina, Straight Outta Compton and Inside Out got writing nods, as well as Room getting so many nominations (which is so bloody raw and fantastic). The Revenant, Spotlight and Creed remain on my to-watch list – none of the others really interest me – and I’m going along with the popular consenseus in saying that the former will be doing a big sweep of the major categories. Alejandro G. Iñárritu will probably win Best Director for a second time in a row, it’ll most likely pick up Best Picture (again, second time in a row), and failing all of the Academy voters suddenly falling for Matt Damon, yes, Leonardo DiCaprio will finally get that Oscar he’s been wanting for so long.
For now, I’m going to choose not to get massively caught up with the messiness of Oscar predictions and enjoy the fact that Mad Max has gotten so much love. This time last year, if someone had told us that a high-octane summer action movie about car chases in the desert which is filled with huge explosions would go on to be nominated for Best Picture, we would have laughed in their silly old face. As it turned out, the movie went far beyond that – it’s a work of visual artistry, insurmountable technical achievement and an important statement on feminism in the modern world. The majority of massive blockbusters are unworthy of major awards (so them being shut out has never been a big deal to me) – until now, however, even the best of those have received relatively little love. Fury Road getting ten nominations is a remarkable precedent, and hopefully it marks a change of heart in the Academy.
I know what I’m watching tonight.