“Mad Max: Fury Road,” directed by Australian filmmaker George Miller, was voted the best film of 2015 on Tuesday by National Board of Review (NBR). Many are considering this a surprise choice by the New York-based body. Generally, NBR’s list starts off the Hollywood award season and helps in speculating Oscar nominations. Naturally, people are considering the Mad Max 2015 movie as a strong contender for Oscars because of NBR’s choice.

The decision has increased Miller’s chances of grabbing another Oscar on Feb. 28, 2016’s ceremony. As per Sky News Australia, the Mad Max film beat Oscar favourites such as “Brooklyn,” “Spotlight,” “Carol,” “The Revenant,” “The Danish Girl” and of course “The Martian.”

Some top film critics have kept Mad Max in their top 10 list. In 2007, Miller won the animated feature Oscar for “Happy Feet.” The original Mad Max film of 1979 starred Mel Gibson that resulted in the actor starring in three more films. However, his 2015 film instalment does not star Gibson. Instead, the Australian film director, screenwriter, producer, and former medical doctor Miller chose English actor Tom Hardy and South African actor Charlize Theron for the coveted roles.

According to Sydney Morning Herald, the film’s nomination by the National Board of Review adds to the support it is getting for six, seven or perhaps eight Oscar nominations. Cate Blanchett, who has previous wins for “Blue Jasmine” and “Aviator,” is surely getting an Oscar nod for lesbian romance “Carol.”

However, Oscar pundits are predicting that Mad Max is also a strong contender. They are certain that the film will continue its success after winning six awards at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Industry Awards (AACTA) on Monday. The 5th AACTA Awards Ceremony & Official After Party will be held on Dec. 9, Wednesday at The Star Event Centre, Sydney, and broadcast on Channel Seven. For the full list of winners, click here.

Miller had planned to shoot the movie outside of Broken Hill. However, ironically, unseasonal rains covered the outback with lovely beautiful flowers that were unsuitable for his portrayal of post-apocalyptic landscapes. Hence, he had to move the shoot to Namibia. The film had a budget of $US150 million and made $US375 million at worldwide box office. The collections were enough for Miller to plan another sequel to the Mad Max series.

The Oscar predictions will become clearer in the coming fortnight as other award shows announce their nominees.

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