Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Oscar Predictions: Best Visual Effects

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 22nd. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories.

Last year’s nominees: Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Kong: Skull Island, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, War for the Planet of the Apes

My choices: Coming in February!

This year’s locks: Avengers: Infinity War

Very likely: Black Panther, Ready Player One

Possible: First Man, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Mary Poppins Returns, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Welcome to Marwen, Christopher Robin

Unlikely: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The rundown: This category was winnowed down to twenty semi-finalists and then ten, dropping first “Annihilation” and then “Aquaman,” two expected contenders in this race. Now, exactly half of the films on the shortlist will end up being Oscar-nominated. When the Visual Effects Society announced their nominations earlier this week, the big surprise was that Black Panther missed the cut in all categories, though it’s unlikely that will happen here given its popularity and the fact that it’s going to be a Best Picture nominee. Of the five lead feature nominees, Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story should be good bets, with the former placing here for the first of its three released films and the latter seeing its series nominated for each of the past three years here. Ready Player One seems solid too, while Welcome to Marwen and Christopher Robin may have a tough time overcoming negative receptions. First Man is a VES nominee for supporting visual effects, which should translate here. Mary Poppins Returns has the advantage of likely placing in other technical categories, and the original film won this award in 1964, while I feel like Ant-Man and the Wasp would be a fun choice even if the first film wasn’t recognized. I have Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom dead last despite three Visual Effects Society bids (for compositing, virtual cinematography, and animated character, specifications the Oscars don’t have) since neither the 2015 reboot or the 2001 third film in the series were nominated here, but it’s always possible this could break the trend. I’ve seen six of these – much more than usual before nominations time, and will catch up on whatever I’m missing if my predictions aren’t correct.

Forecasted winner: I’m going to pick Avengers: Infinity War but it could be “Black Panther” if it manages a nomination.

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