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)