The National Board of Review's annual awards are often a barometer of what fans may expect during Oscar season. While we still have over a month and a half left until The Academy Awards nominations are announced, one of this year's biggest blockbusters has been given an awards season push, after The National Board of Review named Mad Max: Fury Road as their pick for the best movie of 2015. While Mad Max: Fury Road taking home this award is certainly a surprise to some, it remains to be seen how this win will affect the rest of the awards season.
The last movie to win both The National Board of Review's best picture and the Academy Award for Best Picture was Slumdog Millionaire back in 2008. Last year, the Board bestowed A Most Violent Year with their top pick, and it wasn't even nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. However, between 2001 and 2013, all of their top picks received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, although only No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire wound up taking home the top Oscar.
The Board's picks for their top 10 movies of 2015, below Mad Max: Fury Road, include Bridge of Spies, Creed, The Hateful Eight, Spotlight, The Martian, Room, Sicario and Straight Outta Compton, while Inside Out won Best Animated Feature. The Hateful Eight is the only movie on their top 10 that hasn't been released yet, arriving in a limited roadshow release on Christmas Day before expanding nationwide January 8. We'll have to wait and see if these awards help boost the box office performance for the films that are still playing in theaters.
Other individual winners are Ridley Scott for Best Director (The Martian), Matt Damon for Best Actor (The Martian), Brie Larson for Best Actress (Room), Sylvester Stallone for Best Supporting Actor (Creed), Jennifer Jason Leigh for Best Supporting Actress (The Hateful Eight), Quentin Tarantino for Best Original Screenplay (The Hateful Eight) and Drew Goddard for Best Adapted Screenplay (The Martian). Room's Jacob Tremblay and Beasts of No Nation's Abraham Attah shared the award for Breakthrough Performance. The upcoming financial drama The Big Short, which hits theaters on December 11, won for Best Ensemble.
Mad Max: Fury Road took in $153.6 million domestically and $375.8 million worldwide during its theatrical run this summer. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences don't normally bestow their top awards to big-budget blockbusters, but there are a few recent exceptions such as Argo ($136 million), Slumdog Millionaire ($141 million) and, of course, Titanic ($658 million). Do you think Mad Max: Fury Road has a viable shot at taking home Oscar gold after winning The National Board of Review's top prize?