‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Wins Design, Editing, Sound Categories at the Oscars

George Miller's epic is off to a roaring start.

mad max fury road
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” came into the Oscars a favorite to dominate in the categories of best costume design, production design and makeup/hairstyling, particularly after scooping the trio at the British Academy awards two weeks ago. The dystopian epic made good on the promise by nabbing all three in a row Sunday. The film’s Margaret Sixel also won for best film editing.

“What another lovely day,” costume designer Jenny Beavan said, intoning one of the film’s quotable lines. She took a moment toward the end of her speech to speak to the socio-political undertones of the film. “It could be horribly pathetic [like the world of ‘Mad Max’] if we’re not kinder to each other and we don’t stop polluting our atmosphere.”

“Fury Road” was an intriguing departure for Beavan, who previously won for 1986’s “A Room with a View” and has made her name on similar costume dramas, such as “Howards End,” “The Remains of the Day” and “The King’s Speech.”

This was the first nomination for production designer Colin Gibson and set decorator Lisa Thompson, who were charged with building Miller’s world from the ground up and, with designer and storyboard artist Peter Pound, assembling its dazzling array of muscle vehicles.

“It never ceases to annoy me how many people it takes to make me look competent,” Gibson said, “so to get one of these, you get an idea of the multitudes of Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, Americans, South Africans, Namibians, who all came together under George’s vision to bring you a talke about a man with mental health issues, an amputee amazon and five runaway sex slaves, so I’d like to chalk this one up to the first Oscar for diversity.”

The film topped contenders like “Bridge of Spies,” “Carol,” “Cinderella,” “The Danish Girl,” “The Martian” and “The Revenant” in both categories, while besting “Revenant” and “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” in makeup and hairstyling.

“You can pop the corks at home — we’re bringing home gold,” makeup and hair designer Lesley Vanderwalt said.

The film also won Oscars for film editing, sound editing and sound mixing. Nominated for 10 Oscars on the night, including best picture, “Mad Max: Fury Road” is already off to a roaring start.