Friday, January 1, 2016

Oscar Predictions: Best Visual Effects

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 14th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, X-Men: Days of Future Past

This year’s locks: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World

Very likely: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Possible: The Walk, Ex Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant

Unlikely: Tomorrowland, Ant-Man

The rundown: Last year, six of the ten finalists in this category were are entries in series that produced other installments made in the past decade. This year, five and franchise films, though three of them are new installments of popular series last seen a lot longer ago. There’s no doubt that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will make the cut, and it seems all but guaranteed that Jurassic World will too. Avengers: Age of Ultron has a good shot, and it should beat out similar genre contenders Tomorrowland and Ant-Man. Mad Max: Fury Road is a probable Best Picture nominee but less likely here, and though it’s strange to say it, I think The Martian probably won’t show up here either. The same is true of The Revenant, a film with less recognizable supporting visual effects. The two contenders I think will do very well are The Walk, which did a superb job of recreating the Twin Towers and a daring walk between them fully from visual effects, and Ex Machina, which subtly and stunningly turned a human into a robot. There could be some surprises here, but I’m hoping that this might end up being the list.

Forecasted winner: It’s going to have to be Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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