mad max fury road oscars

If we were to measure a film’s success in cultural impact and not box office, Mad Max: Fury Road would be the biggest movie of 2015. It may have only earned a fraction of the cash hoarded by Jurassic World and Furious 7, but no film this year has inspired so much enthusiasm. The memes are abundant. Every artist took time to draw Furiosa. George Miller‘s action masterpiece transformed the internet into a sweaty, shaken, profoundly inspired mass of pure adrenaline.

So yeah, Warner Bros. has decided to push their post-apocalyptic feminist action extravaganza for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It won’t win (and it probably won’t even get nominated), but that wouldn’t be the first time a masterpiece has been ignored by the Oscars.

Get all shiny and chrome with the Fury Road Oscars news after the jump.

Confirmation the Warner Bros. is going to at least try to push this movie for awards consideration comes courtesy of film critic Mike McGranahan, who tweeted a picture of the first ad. Note the schedule of upcoming screenings for potential voters on the right side of the image. Sure, the movie is out on DVD and Blu-ray, but you really need to see it on the big screen:

io9 adds that the studio will also be pushing Tom Hardy for Best Actor, Charlize Theron for Best Actress, and Nicholas Hoult for Best Supporting Actor. They will surely also push Miller for Best Director because there is no better directed mainstream Hollywood movie in theaters this year.

This is the part of the article where we mention The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King‘s 2004 sweep, where it took home 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture. This is also the part where we mention the strong Oscar showings by Avatar in 2010 and Gravity in 2014. It’s not that the Academy has never been fully allergic to science fiction and fantasy movies – they just don’t like them very much. Still, with the right campaign, Fury Road stands a strong chance of taking home statuettes for categories like editing, cinematography, visual effects, and sound. Heck, the Academy gave Trent Reznor an Oscar, so Junkie XL‘s face-blasting score may even have a shot at awards glory.

But Best Picture? Even if the Academy sticks with 10 nominated films, Fury Road feels like an Oscars longshot. It’s too aggressive and weird for the tastes of Oscar voters, which frequently shift toward vanilla. If Warner Bros. really wants to play hardball, they’ll remind the Academy that Mad Max: Fury Road is directed by a 70-year old veteran of the industry who has toiled away, making iconic movies and not getting his due. That’s an inspiring story and Oscar voters traditionally love rewarding real-life narratives.

The good news is that awards ultimately don’t matter that much, and Charlize Theron’s Furiosa is going to grace walls and artists’ sketchbooks for years to come. Oscars are nice and all, but being a legit masterpiece? That’s better.

Those sequels can’t get here soon enough.

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