Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Kong: Skull Island are just happy to be here, two films that weren’t expected to receive nominations.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes from the massively popular ILM (Industrial Light & Magic). The visual effects studio is one of the most revered in the industry, and the award can become a rather political one, meaning that a studio like this will certainly pull its fair share of votes.
War for the Planet of the Apes did seem like the frontrunner for a long time, it being the third of the Planet of the Apes trilogy that has been widely recognized for its performance capture elements, but that has also gone without an Oscar to this point. War was the film that was supposed to right those wrongs. And while it’s not foolish to predict the film, as it did win significantly at the Visual Effects Society awards, another contender has come in strong recently.
Blade Runner 2049 had a very strong showcase at the visual effects bakeoff prior to nominations being handed out, something that could stick with voters. It also just recently won the BAFTA Best Special Visual Effects award. The Visual Effects Society does have significant weight, but it did award each of the first two Planet of the Apes films while the Oscars went the other way. BAFTA may have gotten it wrong in a Planet of the Apes year when it went with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 instead of Hugo, but it did correctly predict Interstellar‘s victory over Dawn. So, BAFTA may be the place to look to this year to figure out which film will win the Best Visual Effects Oscar.
Joel Whist, Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett — War for the Planet of the Apes
Richard R. Hoover, Paul Lambert, Gerd Nefzer, John Nelson — Blade Runner 2049
Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlon, Ben Morris, Michael Mulholland — Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Dan Sudick Jonathan Fawkner, Guy Williams, Christopher Townsend — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Mike Meinardus, Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza — Kong: Skull Island
Will win: Blade Runner 2049
Could win: War for the Planet of the Apes
Should win: War for the Planet of the Apes
Should’ve been nominated: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Featured image via Warner Bros.