Monday, February 22, 2016

Oscar Project 2016: Mad Max: Fury Road

Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road

I haven't seen previous Mad Max movies and, to be honest, this was probably just not my kind of movie - as I mentioned in my post about The Revenant, I gravitate toward movies with a lot of dialogue and little action. I found this somewhat hard to follow, but I think the problem was more me than it. All that aside, I could recognize that this was extremely well done and I was of course delighted by its female hero, its depiction of sexism and focus on bringing down the patriarchy. (Jessica Valenti has a good overview of this aspect here.)

Availability: You can catch it on HBO or streaming on HBO Now or HBO Go, or buy or rent the DVD, Blu-ray, or download.

Nominated in:

Best Picture: Probably not, but that's more because there were other movies I thought were better than because I think this wouldn't deserve it, if that makes sense. But really, if a feminist action movie won Best Picture? I would not be complaining.

Cinematography: This was beautifully shot.

Costume Design: Sure. The costumes did a good job of helping construct this world and of establishing the social system.

Directing: Lots of movement and crowds and complex scenes that, well, mostly made sense, so I think the director gets some of the credit for that.

Film Editing: Yes. This was quite a feat, not least because they had almost 500 hours of footage. NPR interviewed the editor here and it's very interesting.

Makeup and Hairstyling: Yes. As with costumes, the makeup and hair went a long way toward establishing this world; they helped make it look both foreign and familiar, and cohesive.

Production Design: Maybe not my first choice, but sure. Making a world feel so different but so real and cohesive at the same time is impressive.

Sound Editing: Okay. Lots of complicated sounds.

Sound Mixing: Nah. Some levels seemed a bit off at times. Nothing egregious but enough that I noticed (and in some places couldn't hear things I think I was supposed to be hearing).

Visual Effects: Sure. They were impressive.

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