Oscars 2017: Best Visual Effects Shortlist

Remember when, nine days ago, they announced the longlist for this category and everyone called it a shortlist? And then they announced the actual shortlist and everyone said ‘shortlist’ again? That’s how you can tell people have no fucking clue what they’re talking about in relation to the Oscars.

They narrowed the Visual Effects field down to ten contenders today. Five of these will be nominated. In years past, you can usually point out at least four major nominees from the list, and then you can probably cobble together one or two other possibilities for the last spot. It’s generally helpful when they narrow the category down for you beforehand.

Also, for what it’s worth, when I guessed my shortlist, I got 7 out of the 10 right. Which either means I’m really good at what I do or it’s just an easy year to guess. (I think we all know which one it is.)

Your shortlist is:

Alien: Covenant
Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
War for the Planet of the Apes

I got my Marvel film wrong, but did correctly predict that there wouldn’t be more than one. I couldn’t have guessed Okja, which bounced off my Beauty and the Beast guess. And Kong makes sense. The one I’m surprised they left off is Wonder Woman. That — I didn’t think they’d have the balls to do that (even though they absolutely should have). So that’s something that makes my life easier for the next month. For sure would have had to consider that a legitimate contender even though it shouldn’t be just because of how big the film was.

But now, seeing this list… we all kinda know what will be nominated, right?

Alien is a ‘probably not’, even though they love Ridley and Prometheus got on. I’d put that maybe around 7 of the 10 just because of that.

Blade Runner is for sure on.

Dunkirk is probably on, and I would say yes over no until it doesn’t get on, because how could that get left off?

Guardians 2 — maybe? I don’t know how this branch tends to work, but I could see this maybe getting on.

Kong — I’d be surprised. That’s not to say it won’t happen, but I would be a bit surprised. It would definitely fit, though. But they shortlisted Godzilla and left that off. My instinct is to say no and put it like, 9th on the list and let it get on if it’s gonna get on.

Okja — they can’t seriously nominate that, right? I’m gonna leave that 10th and just be wrong.

Shape of Water — 50/50. Can’t tell you what they’re gonna do there. Not sure exactly where the visual effects there were. More makeup than anything. But if they see fit to nominate it, I guess that could work. I might even put it as high as 6th just because I don’t know what they’re gonna do. Instinct says no just because I don’t know what effects they had outside of enhancing the fish man costume.

Jedi is on, and I don’t think anyone is surprised there.

Valerian — I don’t know. My gut says no, but it is very effects-heavy. I would probably nominate it over most of the others on this list. So I don’t know.

And Apes is for sure on. The last two were — no way they’re snubbing this one.

What does that leave us with?

Blade Runner 2049
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

And one more. I think the rest of the list looks like this:

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

6. The Shape of Water

7. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

8. Alien: Covenant

9. Kong: Skull Island

10. Okja

I should probably swap 7 and 8, and I don’t think Shape of Water is a true #6, but when they love a film and want to nominate it, anything is possible.

But I think you gotta say those four are absolute locks and just because of how things go, you figure that Marvel gets the last spot. Maybe Ridley gets on. That would not surprise me. Valerian feels like a long shot just because it was so disliked, but also completely fits.

I’d probably end up taking Guardians, despite giving Shape of Water its proper consideration. But we’ve got over a month to think about this. That’s just my gut based on this shortlist.

Either way, I think we’ve got a pretty straightforward category on our hands.

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