Friday, February 7, 2020

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Visual Effects

The competition: Avengers: Endgame (Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken, and Dan Sudick), The Irishman (Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser, and Stephane Grabli), The Lion King (Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Elliot Newman), 1917 (Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, and Dominic Tuohy)

Previous winners: First Man, Blade Runner 2049, The Jungle Book, Ex Machina, Interstellar, Gravity, Life of Pi, Hugo
My winner: Avengers: Endgame
The facts: Many of these nominees have contended together before for some of the same projects. De Leeuw, Earl, and Sudick all contended previously together last year for “Avengers: Infinity War” in 2014 for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Earl was also nominated for “Transformers” and “Star Trek,” while Sudick was a nominee seven other times, with five of those being Marvel movies. Aitken was up in 2009 for “District 9.” Helman contended for “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” in 2002 and “War of the Worlds” in 2005. Legato, Valdez, and Jones won in 2016 for “The Jungle Book.” Legato also won in 1997 for “Titanic” and in 2011 for “Hugo,” with an additional bid for “Apollo 13.” Jones won for “Avatar” in 2009 and was nominated in 2004 for “I, Robot.” Rocheron won in 2012 for “Life of Pi.” Butler was nominated in 2011 for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.” Double nominee Tuohy was first nominated last year for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Guyett was nominated in 2004 for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” in 2009 for “Star Trek,” in 2013 for “Star Trek Into Darkness,” in 2015 for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and last year for “Ready Player One.” Scanlan was nominated for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in 2017, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” last year, and won for “Babe” back in 1995. Tubach was nominated in 2013 for “Star Trek Into Darkness,” in 2015 for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and in 2018 for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” At the Visual Effects Society Awards, “The Lion King” won three awards, “The Irishman” won two, and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” won one. Every “Star Wars” movie except for “Revenge of the Sith” been honored, with only the original three films winning the award, and this marks the fifth consecutive nomination for the series. Nine Marvel films that lead into “Avengers: Endgame” have contended in the past decade, with the franchise yet to win an award here. Despite a six-year stretch from 2008 to 2013, this award has only gone to a Best Picture nominee twenty-two times since the inception of the Oscars.

Who should win: Though all of the effects here aside from “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” really impressed me, I’d love to see the deserving “Avengers: Endgame” rewarded for its incomparable technological presentation.
Who will win: I would love to see “Avengers: Endgame” win, but I’m going to predict The Lion King with a distinct possibility that “The Irishman” or “1917” wins instead.

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