You would think that an unapologetically over-the-top popcorn flick about a post-apocalyptic desert wasteland where armed bandits do battle in smoke-spewing war vehicles would be a tough sell with critics — you would be wrong.
George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road, the fourth installment of the 36-year-old franchise, was quite literally the runaway hit of 2015. Boasting a near-perfect 97 percent on the Tomatometer, the film is basically one, breathtaking, unrelenting chase scene, and was unique enough to knock nearly everyone’s socks off — including The International Federation of Film Critics.
The group has already anointed the action-packed romp and will present Miller with the coveted FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) Grand Prix award at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival on Sept. 18, 2015. The prize is typically reserved for directors who take a more artsy, less mainstream approach to filmmaking and names like Terrence Malick, Roman Polanski, and Woody Allen are among the previous honorees. Last year’s award was given to Richard Linklater, for Boyhood.
That being said, it surprised many when the Aussie director was awarded — including Miller himself.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather! Miller told The Guardian of finding out about his win. “It’s lovely to have this great cohort of critics acknowledge our collective labors in this way.”
In the end, however, after 493 of the world’s top critics weighed in, Mad Max: Fury Road and George Miller came out on top.
FIPRESCI was founded in 1930 in Brussels, Belgium, and bestows its Grand Prix Award at an international film festival each year, picking one film that stands out from among the rest.
Mad Max: Fury Road will recieve a special screening at the San Sebastian Film Festival and a sequel (Mad Max: Wasteland) to Miller’s hit film is already in the works. If the world wasn’t clamoring to work with him already, they certainly are now.