Visual effects, for some films, are pivotal. They make or break the film’s success. When effects are being honored by the Academy or elsewhere, it is often because the film’s either push the boundaries of the form, exemplify a careful precision to the craft, or utilize the vfx form to create immersive dynamic worlds that don’t exist in reality.
In regards to 2017, we have five films that all do at least one of these things very well. But I think there is one film that does all three…
Best Visual Effects:
- Deepwater Horizon
- Doctor Strange
- The Jungle Book
- Kubo and the Two Strings
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Will Win: The Jungle Book
Could Win: Kubo and the Two Strings
Dark Horses: Doctor Strange and Rogue One
I understand that I didn’t quite narrow the field down any right there. But let me explain. First off, after Ex Machina came out with a win in Best Visual Effects last year, I don’t have the same confidence in my predicting ability for this category. As much as I love Ex Machina, it was the last film I expected to win.
Second, the effects work in this category is all really amazing, and it is all very different.
Why is The Jungle Book the safe bet? Because the entire film is done in a studio; every shot is composed mostly of visual effects. The entire film is an effect, save for the young actor in the middle of it. And, in spite of all of this, it still looks like a compelling and immersive world.
Why is it a strong possibility that Kubo and the Two Strings will upset? Because it is an animated film done in the stop motion style, yet it looks seamless and beautiful.
Why are essentially all of the other films dark horse candidates (sorry Deepwater Horizon, I think you might be out of this race, as much as it is nice to see you nominated)? Doctor Strange and Rogue One both do very interesting and fun things with their effects. The fact that none of it is particularly groundbreaking is why it will likely lose out to The Jungle Book. But it is possible.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)