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‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Named Best Film by National Board of Review

The National Board of Review has named “Mad Max: Fury Road” as the best film of 2015.

It was an unexpected victory for the summer tentpole starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, which received favorable reviews when it opened in May, but is seen as an awards season longshot. So far, most of the advanced buzz in this year’s Oscars race has focused on such indies as “Spotlight,” “Brooklyn” and “Carol” versus the box office goliath “The Martian.”

Ridley Scott received the best director award and Matt Damon best actor for “The Martian,” which is expected to be a major awards season player. Brie Larson picked up best actress for “Room,” the indie based on Emma Donoghue’s novel. Sylvester Stallone earned best supporting actor for “Creed” and Jennifer Jason Leigh nabbed best supporting actress for “The Hateful Eight,” Quentin Taraninto’s upcoming Western, which also took home best original screenaply.

The NBR winners are selected by about 120 film fans from New York (who cast their ballots via email or fax), and the organization has a mixed track record of predicting Oscars success. Last year, the NBR offered a left-field pick by awarding J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” with best picture, actor (Oscar Isaac) and supporting actress (Jessica Chastain), only to see the picture get shut out completely at the Academy Awards. But the gala proved to be one of the early stops for eventual best actress winner Julianne Moore for her performance in “Still Alice.”

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.

Here are the full list of 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 vision
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: “Beasts of No Nation” and “Mustang”

Watch Variety’s recent interview with “Mad Max” director George Miller:

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