Mad Max: Fury Road runs over Oscars like a muscle car covered in spikes

Mad Max: Fury Road runs over Oscars like a muscle car covered in spikes

Aleesha Matharu @almatharu

In so may ways, Mad Max: Fury Road has been the picture of the year. An entertainer through and through, the biggest point it scores on is the fact that its watchable over and over and over again.

Without you ever feeling bored. Not even for a second. George Miller's picture is a non-stop visual assault, enforcing a chokehold on viewers and rarely letting go.

The first time watching the the post-apocalyptic wasteland action blockbuster, the pace feels so fast you can just barely keep up with it. The second time, you're anticipating what's happening, and more aware of where everybody is - repeated viewings are like falling into the groove of a hit song.

And really, when was the last time you went to see a blockbuster movie and enjoyed every single second? That too one led by a female warrior - Charlize Theron as Furiosa? And one directed by a man like George Miller who's well into his eighties?

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There was a brief moment during the Oscars where it looked like Mad Max: Fury Road might be on the way to getting the recognition it deserved as a truly groundbreaking, visually stunning film.

Spoiler alert: It didn't.

As is so often, Mad Max: Fury Road won a boatload of behind-the-scenes awards - but lost Best Director and Best Picture. Here are the Mad Max: Fury Road winners, which are richly deserved: best costume design, production design, makeup and hairstyling, editing, sound editing and sound mixing.

I'm happy no other movie won as many awards as this one. But here's the thing: With Mad Max: Fury Road being acknowledged as the year's best in so many categories, why didn't George Miller and the film as a whole deserve to win?

There were a lot of great movies in the past year.

Spotlight's win for Best Picture was totally unexpected and far more welcome than it having gone to The Revenant. Bridge of Spies and The Danish Girl were fantastic.

But Mad Max: Fury Road was a masterpiece. It is a credit to the entire medium on every. Single. Level.

The Oscars should have rewarded it, and George Miller, for doing absolutely everything right. Not most things. Everything. And Tom Hardy? He's proved time and time again that he can do more with less than perhaps any actor working today.

I'm not alone in my opinion. Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic crowned Mad Max: Fury Road as the most positively reviewed film of the year.

The film's critics have said that it is far too much action and not serious at all.

But is Mad Max: Fury Road any less serious and important than best picture winners like Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, The Departed, or Silence of the Lambs?

What's most unusual about it compared to other Best Picture wins is that it's purely an action film with seemingly little pretense on being anything more than a fun time. But making a truly great spectacle is every bit as challenging as making anything else (and in the case of Mad Max: Fury Road, which has been in the works for nearly two decades, arguably more difficult).

And there are thematic topical issues in play - the film clearly has things to say about feminism and environmentalism - but there's just no time for ponderous king's speeches on these subjects.

With its usual micro-economy, Mad Max: Fury Road managed to hit its patriarchy critique and environmental fears with a single repeated question, spoken and written by the rebellious wives: "Who killed the world?"

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Aleesha Matharu

Aleesha Matharu @almatharu