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‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ ’45 Years’ Triumph at London Film Critics’ Circle Awards

British and Irish talent sweeps the acting categories, but George Miller's action knockout is named Film of the Year.

If key omissions in the BAFTA nominations gave you the idea that Brits had little love for “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “45 Years,” think again. At their annual awards ceremony this evening, the London Film Critics’ Circle fortuitously righted a number of the British Academy’s wrongs — most prominently by handing George Miller’s beautifully deranged action spectacle honors for Film of the Year and Director of the Year.

In doing so, they echoed the verdict of such U.S. groups as the National Board of Review and critics groups from Chicago, San Diego, Kansas City and more, further burnishing the prestige credentials of the 10-time Academy Award nominee, surely the year’s most improbable Oscar success story. “Fury Road” also shared in a third award, as leading man Tom Hardy won British/Irish Actor of the Year for his body of work in 2015, including turns in “Legend,” “The Revenant” and “London Road.”

The night’s other big winner, also taking three awards, sits way at the opposite end of the stylistic spectrum: Andrew Haigh’s exquisite marital drama “45 Years,” for which Charlotte Rampling earned a well-deserved Best Actress Oscar nod earlier this week, was named British/Irish Film of the Year. It also triumphed in the two top acting races: Rampling added Actress of the Year to her collection of U.S. critics’ gongs, but perhaps less expectedly, her delicate duet partner Tom Courtenay took Actor of the Year, beating out Oscar nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Fassbender. (In case you need reminding, neither Rampling nor Courtenay received a BAFTA nod.)

British and Irish talent swept the acting fields, in fact, as Mark Rylance and surprise Golden Globe champ Kate Winslet won the supporting categories. Saoirse Ronan was named British/Irish Actress of the Year. (Yes, logic dictates that Rampling should win that award too — ditto Courtenay on the actor side — but I’m told the votes simply shook out that way.) “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams, meanwhile, took the Young British Performer prize for her leading turn in Carol Morley’s dark high-school drama “The Falling.”

Other winners included “Amy,” which continued its streak of documentary wins; among the films it beat was “The Look of Silence,” which instead took the foreign-language prize. U.S. critics’ favorite “Spotlight” pocketed a screenplay award, while “Carol” — which had led the London critics’ nominations with seven bids — won only the Technical Achievement Award for Ed Lachman’s lensing. “Slow West” director John Maclean beat Alex Garland, among others, to the Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker award, while Oscar nominee Benjamin Cleary took the group’s inaugural short film prize for his aching love story “Stutterer.”

Winslet, Williams and Courtenay were among the attending prizewinners at the event, which closed with two British acting titans sharing the stage: Judi Dench presented Kenneth Branagh — her recent director and co-star in a West End revival of “The Winter’s Tale” — with the Circle’s career-achievement Dilys Powell Award.

The full list of winners:

Film of the Year: Mad Max: Fury Road

British/Irish Film of the Year: “45 Years”

Foreign Language Film of the Year: “The Look of Silence”

Documentary of the Year: “Amy”

Director of the Year: George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Actor of the Year: Tom Courtenay, “45 Years”

Actress of the Year: Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”

Supporting Actor of the Year: Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”

Supporting Actress of the Year: Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”

British/Irish Actor of the Year: Tom Hardy, “Legend,” “The Revenant,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “London Road”

British/Irish Actress of the Year: Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”

Screenwriter of the Year: Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, “Spotlight”

Philip French Award for Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker: John Maclean, “Slow West”

Young British/Irish Performer of the Year: Maisie Williams, “The Falling”

Technical Achievement Award: Ed Lachman, cinematography, “Carol”

British/Irish Short Film of the Year: Benjamin Cleary, “Stutterer”

Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film: Kenneth Branagh

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