Monday, January 15, 2018

Oscar Predictions: Best Visual Effects

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 23rd. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

This year’s locks: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Blade Runner 2049

Very likely: War of the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Possible: The Shape of Water, Okja, Kong: Skull Island

Unlikely: Alien: Covenant, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

The rundown: Given that there are a whopping six sequels in this race, it’s important to look at the statistics. Technically, Kong: Skull Island is a reboot, so I guess the win for “King Kong” in 2005 isn’t too relevant. The last film in each of the other five’s series was nominated. Blade Runner 2049 is a sequel to a 1982 film, so the effects are considerably more advanced. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Alien: Covenant are following up films from 2014 and 2012, respectively. War of the Planet of the Apes is the third in its series, and the first two installments were nominated in 2011 and 2014, respectively. All but one episode of its series – “Revenge of the Sith” – has been nominated, so Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a sure thing. Of the rest, Best Picture technical frontrunners Dunkirk and The Shape of Water will face off for a slot, with the former having the advantage for the sheer scope of what had to be created. Okja could be a fun choice following the inclusion of “Kubo and the Two Strings” last year, but it’s not too likely, and I can’t imagine Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will make the cut, especially when it scored a spot on the list of ten finalists over the likes of “Wonder Woman” and “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Forecasted winner: I’m not sure, but I think Star Wars: The Last Jedi could do it.

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