ByKristin Lai, writer at Creators.co
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

As the year begins to wind down, it's getting to be the time when movie lovers look back on their favorite films of the year and start thinking about which titles will walk away as winners of this awards season.

You might not have a specific movie in mind for the 2015 winners yet—there are still a lot of movies left to be seen, after all—but The National Board of Review (NBR) has released their picks for the best movie categories, and some of them might come as a welcome surprise.

Most notably, the NBR has presented their Best Film award to George Miller's action-adventure thrill ride, Mad Max: Fury Road. Although the film earned over $375 million in the box office, won acclaim as a visual masterpiece and is widely considered Miller's magnum opus, it's rare that action films and big box office earners are chosen to compete with the more traditional contenders.

To be fair, these aren't the Oscars, but the fact that Mad Max is even included in the "best of" conversation could mean big things. Here are the rest of the NBR's picks of 2015's top performers in entertainment:

Best Film: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Director: Ridley Scott – The Martian

Best Actor: Matt Damon – The Martian

Best Actress: Brie Larson – Room

Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight

Best Adapted Screenplay: Drew Goddard – The Martian

Best Animated Feature: Inside Out

Breakthrough Performance: Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation & Jacob Tremblay – Room

Best Directorial Debut: Jonas Carpignano – Mediterranea

Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul

Best Documentary: Amy

William K. Everson Film History Award: Cecilia De Mille Presley

Best Ensemble: The Big Short

Spotlight Award: Sicario, for Outstanding Collaborative Vision

NBR Freedom of Expression Award: Beasts of No Nation & Mustang

Although these choices aren't necessarily indicative of who will win out this season in the bigger races, maybe it's time the academy start turning their attention to what the fans love. With the NBR releasing it as their 2015 Best Film of the year, perhaps we're about to see Mad Max: Fury Road entering the Oscar race.

(Source: National Board of Review)

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