Who says cinephiles are snobs? What is turning out to be one of 2015’s most award-gobbling films is a rip-roaring action movie featuring unquantifiable automotive mayhem (read: almost nothing but car crashes) and a dude rocking a flamethrower guitar.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” has 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. And now its director, George Miller, will be heading to Valhalla, shiny and chrome — which is another way of saying he will be presiding over the 69th Cannes Film Festival jury in May.
Of course, the fourth “Mad Max” — a series the Australian filmmaker has helmed since its 1979 first — isn’t just your “typical action movie.” It’s so overwrought and precise that even the famously stodgy AMPAS voters couldn’t ignore its craft. Europeans are a little more open to art in genre filmmaking, so bestowing the honor upon Miller and not, say, “Spotlight” (and “The Cobbler”) director Tom McCarthy isn’t too far afield.
Miller’s CV also includes lots of movies that don’t feature hedgehog cars driven by Russians, such as “The Witches of Eastwick,” “Babe: Pig in the City” (he produced the first), two “Happy Feet”’s, the medical drama “Lorenzo’s Oil” and the best part of the 1983 film anthology “Twilight Zone: The Movie” — the one where a wigged-out John Lithgow thinks there’s a monster on the wing of his plane.