With the Academy Awards coming this Sunday, I thought it important to weigh in on why MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is the best picture of 2015.
Yes, it has wall-to-wall action and testosterone out the wazoo, but is that enough to make it the BEST film of the year? Does it justify its ranking above this year’s other heavyweight awards contenders like SPOTLIGHT, CAROL, BRIDGE OF SPIES, et al?
Character defines action (and vice versa)
I mentioned in my original review of the film that the characters in FURY ROAD act on the basis of genuine character, not simply from contrived machinations of the script. Everyone has a unique and independent motivation, and the decisions they make reflect those goals in every scene.
On top of that, the characters are dynamic, and change believably over the course of the movie. This is especially rare to see in a fictional story, as opposed to typical Oscar nominee bait which are based on true stories and have real-life characters to model the script after.
Craft at the service of story (not vice versa)
Imagination and originality
Movies like the aforementioned SPOTLIGHT, CAROL, and BRIDGE OF SPIES – or any of the other nominees – are all great films, but there have been many like them before. There will be many more like them in the future. Conversely, each scene in FURY ROAD offers you something you’ve never seen. Pale, deformed mutants driving hot rods across the desert while hooked up intravenously to healthy humans dangling above them as portable transfusions. A raging dust/lightning storm that sucks trucks up into the sky and shatters them in a flaming explosion. A blind, fanged freak in pajamas, leading the cavalry into battle with an wailing guitar solo and a wall of speaker cabinets. Amazing.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is out on video. You should get it. It is worth many viewings. It’s on Amazon here.
What is your take on the film? Let us know in the comments!