“Max Mad: Fury Road” and “Carol” have been duking it out for best-of-year honors in 2015’s critics polls, but in Indiewire’s poll, it wasn’t even close. The results from the poll of more than 200 critics around the world gave Imperator Furiosa and her angry sidekick a commanding victory over Carol Aird and Therese Belivet, 827 points to 681. “Fury Road’s” George Miller likewise cruised past “Carol’s” Todd Haynes, 416 to 309, and crushed it in the Best Editing category, with a whopping 434-107 lead.
“Carol” won two categories, Best Cinematography (378 points to “Fury Road’s” 311), and Best Score (over “The Hateful Eight”), and placed second in Best Screenplay behind Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy’s script for “Spotlight.” But category confusion took its toll on “Carol” in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, with Cate Blanchett placing fifth in the first and 18th in the latter, and Rooney Mara finishing sixth in both. (“Carol” distributor The Weinstein Company has been pushing Mara for supporting and Blanchett for Best Actress, but many critics argue that Mara is at least one of the film’s leads, if not the only one.) Only two points separated the two in Best Actress: appropriately, a photo finish.
In what many critics consider the year’s most competitive category, Charlotte Rampling scored a narrow win in Best Actress over “Brooklyn’s” Saoirse Ronan, with “Room’s” Brie Larson and “Phoenix’s” Nina Hoss close behind. Michael Fassbender won Best Actor for “Steve Jobs,” ahead of “Son of Saul’s” Géza Röhrig, and “Creed’s” Michael B. Jordan, while “Bridge of Spies'” Mark Rylance and “Clouds of Sils Maria’s” Kristen Stewart racking up yet more wins in Best Supporting Actor and Actress.
The narrowest win was “Son of Saul’s” for Best First Feature, with only three points separating it from “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” and three more from third-place finisher “Ex Machina.” The biggest blowout, apart from editing, was Stewart’s Supporting Actress victory, with close to twice as many points as her nearest rival, “Ex Machina’s” Alicia Vikander. Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence” also scored a substantial win in Best Documentary over second-place “Amy,” with Frederick Wiseman’s “In Jackson Heights” a distant third.
What about next year’s winners? The “Most Anticipated” category might provide a clue. “The Witch,” a supernatural story set in 17th century New England, handily took the category. With the Nazi siege thriller “Green Room” also finishing third, distributor A24 has to be feeling good about their 2016. “The Lobster,” the English-language debut from “Dogtooth’s” Yorgos Lanthimos, finished between them.
Lanthimos’ Greek comrade in cinema, Athina Rachel Tsangari, won the Best Undistributed Film category, with Hong Sang-Soo’s “Right Now, Wrong Then” in second. (The latter reportedly has a distribution deal in the works, but it has not been officially announced.)
The complete results of the poll also allow you to click through to individual ballots. Happy browsing.