Friday, February 20, 2015

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Visual Effects

The competition: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist), Guardians of the Galaxy (Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould), Interstellar (Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott R. Fisher), X-Men: Days of Future Past (Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer)

Previous winners: Gravity, Life of Pi, Hugo, Inception, Avatar, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Golden Compass
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!
The facts: Letteri is the most honored artist in this category, with four Oscar wins, most recently for “Avatar.” Franklin and Lockley won for their last nominated collaboration with Christopher Nolan, “Inception.” Earl, Grill, and Sudick have been nominated before for various projects. Letteri, Lemmon, and Barrett were all nominated for the last Apes film, which didn’t win. Aithadi and Stammers have also each been nominated once before. In terms of franchises, this is the first nomination for Captain America and X-Men, though from the former’s larger universe, “Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2,” and “The Avengers” were all nominated, but none of them won.

Who should win: “Guardians of the Galaxy” is an ambitious presentation and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” had a lot of great action scenes. I wasn’t overly enthralled by the effects in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” or “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” Nothing compares, however, to the vast universe created in “Interstellar.” I’m picturing those humongous waves in particular.
Who will win: I’m nervous, but I still think Interstellar can win.

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