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‘Mad Max’ best film of ’15 – Damon named best actor by Board of Review

In this May 13, 2015 photo, actor Austin Butler visits the set of MTV’s new fantasy series ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ during filming in Kumeu, New Zealand. Best known for its reality shows, MTV hopes the new series will become its flagship scripted show after its Jan 5 premiere. (AP)
In this May 13, 2015 photo, actor Austin Butler visits the set of MTV’s new fantasy series ‘The Shannara Chronicles’ during filming in Kumeu, New Zealand. Best known for its reality shows, MTV hopes the new series will become its flagship scripted show after its Jan 5 premiere. (AP)

NEW YORK, Dec 2, (RTRS): Action adventure “Mad Max: Fury Road” was named the best film of 2015 on Tuesday by the National Board of Review, a surprise choice by the New York-based body whose list traditionally kicks off the annual Hollywood awards season.

Space drama “The Martian” won a best actor award for Matt Damon and best director for Ridley Scott and was also named one of the nine top films of the year.

But Oscar hopefuls were left empty handed by the Board of Review, which has a history of going against the mainstream. These included “Steve Jobs,” a film about Apple Inc’s co-founder, Irish immigrant saga “Brooklyn” and Jennifer Lawrence’s much anticipated “Joy.”

Instead, the 100-year-old organization, which comprises academics, filmmakers, students and professionals, chose popular fare such as boxing movie “Creed,” rap music film “Straight Outta Compton,” Catholic Church sex abuse tale “Spotlight” and psychological thriller “Room” among its top films of the year.

Sylvester Stallone was named best supporting actor for his role in “Creed,” a sequel to his hit “Rocky” movies, while Brie Larson took the best actress award for playing an abducted mother in “Room.”

Quentin Tarantino’s yet-to-be-released drama “The Hateful Eight” also fared well. It was included in the best-of-the-year list and won best screenplay as well as supporting actress for Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Independent

The Board of Review is known for its sometimes idiosyncratic picks. Last year it chose the small independent drama “A Most Violent Year” as its best film of 2014.

This year’s winner “Mad Max: Fury Road,” directed by Australian George Miller, starred Charlize Theron as a rebel leader in a post-apocalyptic future. The movie won warm reviews and has made some $376 million at the box office worldwide but it has not been seen as a likely contender for major awards such as the Oscars or Golden Globes.

The honorees will pick up their statues at the NBR dinner on Jan 5, 2016 in New York at Cipriani 42nd Street. “Today’s” Willie Geist will return as the evening’s emcee.

Winners

* Best Film: “Mad Max: Fury Road”Best Director: Ridley Scott, “The Martian”

* Best Actor: Matt Damon, “The Martian”Best Actress: Brie Larson, “Room”

* Best Supporting Actor: Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”

* Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, “The Hateful Eight”

* Best Adapted Screenplay: Drew Goddard, “The Martian”Best Animated Feature: “Inside Out”

* Breakthrough Performance: Abraham Attah, “Beasts of No Nation” and Jacob Tremblay, “Room”

* Best Directorial Debut: Jonas Carpignano, “Mediterranea”Best Foreign Language Film: “Son of Saul”

* Best Documentary: “Amy”William K. Everson Film History Award: Cecilia De Mille Presley

* Best Ensemble: “The Big Short”Spotlight Award: “Sicario” for outstanding collaborative visionNBR Freedom of Expression Award: “Beasts of No Nation” and “Mustang”

Also:

LOS ANGELES: For the first time ever, Pixar is getting awards competition from itself. The studio’s inventive summer blockbuster “Inside Out” and its warm-hearted recent release “The Good Dinosaur” led the nominees for animated feature at the 43rd annual Annie Awards slated for Feb 6 at UCLA’s Royce Hall, with 14 and 10 bids, respectively.

Rounding out the field are the adult-themed stop-motion film “Anomalisa” from Paramount, Blue Sky’s nostalgic 3D reboot “The Peanuts Movie” and Aardman Animations’ “Shaun the Sheep the Movie,” a film based on the popular British TV series. All have five nominations.

LOS ANGELES: The Directors Guild of America has tapped Mary Rae Thewlis (“The Americans”) and Tom McDermott (“The Young and the Restless”) for special awards at the 68th Annual DGA Awards on Feb 6 at the Century Plaza.

Thewlis will receive the DGA’s 2016 Frank Capra Achievement Award, given to an assistant director or unit production manager in recognition of career achievement in the industry and service to the DGA.

McDermott will receive the DGA’s 2016 Franklin J. Schaffner Achievement Award, given to an associate director or stage manager in recognition of service to the industry and to the guild.

“Mary Rae Thewlis and Tom McDermott personify the DGA ethos: distinguished work and dedicated service,” said DGA President Paris Barclay. “We honor their many achievements and contributions to the Guild, and extend our deepest gratitude for their dedication to helping protect and promote the creative and economic rights of our members.”

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