“Mad Max: Fury Road” has been named the winner of the annual Grand Prix by FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics. The prize will be awarded during the opening ceremonies of the San Sébastian Film Festival on September 18. “You could have knocked me over with a feather! It’s lovely to have this great cohort of critics acknowledge our collective labours in this way,” director George Miller said in a statement to the organization.
FIPRESCI, whose members hail from places as alphabetically distant as Albania and Venezuela, is composed of 493 critics drawn from national organizations in 50 member countries — the National Society of Film Critics in the U.S., for example. Nominations were narrowed down to four films, also including Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s “The Assassin,” László Nemes’ “Son of Saul,” and Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi,” over which “Mad Max: Fury Road” was chosen in a vote. Three of the films premieres at Cannes, with “Son of Saul” winning the festival’s Grand Prix and Hou taking Best Director. “Fury Road” was shown out of competition.
It’s worth noting that, as of the poll’s mid-August deadline, “Fury Road” was the only one of the nominees to have screened in North America, giving it a formidable advantage in an international vote. But with the movie out on Blu-Ray and DVD today, the FIPRESCI win comes as a timely reminder to catch up a movie whose name we’ll surely hear again when critics make up their year-end lists.