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Oscars 2018: Best Visual Effects Shortlist

Okay, so nine separate shortlists dropped today. So we’re gonna work through them as quickly as possible. Which might mean a few tonight, a few in the morning, it might mean all of them tonight. I guess we’re gonna find out together.

We’re gonna start with the easiest for me to deal with first, and then work toward the more work-intensive ones. Which means we begin with Best Visual Effects. Why? Because we already had a longlist. So we were prepared for this. We had 20, now we have 10. Eventually we’ll have 5. Pretty simple.

Here’s your shortlist for Best Visual Effects:

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther
Christopher Robin
First Man
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Mary Poppins Returns
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Welcome to Marwen

Okay, cool. This is less meaningful in a vacuum, so let’s first look at what the original longlist was, or more specifically, which films from that list didn’t make it:

Aquaman
Bumblebee
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Mortal Engines
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Paddington 2
A Quiet Place

I’d have been shocked if Quiet Place, Paddington, Nutcracker or Mortal Engines made this list. Fallout, I figured wouldn’t make it. I didn’t expect either animated movie to make it on, because Kubo made history two years ago by being the first one of those nominated. So no surprises there. Bumblebee, I didn’t really expect to make it. Beasts surprises me a little bit. Aquaman, having seen it now… totally get leaving it off.

So yeah, nothing that surprising, though Fantastic Beasts not being there is interesting.

Before I look into the list we have, I will point out that I guessed 8/10 of these when I put up my guesses. Honestly, everyone guessing should have had at least 7 of these. It’s not that hard a year to whittle down. I left Black Panther off because I didn’t think Marvel would get three on. Well… they got three on. Ant-Man was always gonna, and Infinity War is so loaded with effects that had to make it too. So they got three. And I didn’t have Christopher Robin. Okay, sure. I had Aquaman and Beasts instead. I wonder what I would have done if I had seen Aquaman before I guessed. Or, more specifically… listened to what I said in my article, which is that D.C. has yet to be shortlisted. So yeah, here we are.

Now, to work through our shortlist:

Ant-Man, Avengers and Black Panther are Marvel. I gotta take those as a single unit to this point. We’ll figure it out after. All of them make sense for different reasons.

Christopher Robin. Okay. Never gonna make the list. So now we’re picking 5/9.

First Man. Awesome. Hope they nominate it. Practical effects, man.

Jurassic World — told you they’d put that on. It’s dinosaurs. I feel like this won’t be nominated because of both quality and because the first one didn’t make it. They’re more likely to nominate three Marvel movies over this. So 5/8.

Mary Poppins Returns — is there a world where this doesn’t make the list? Sure, there is. But you gotta figure they’ll do it. Not 100%, but I’d probably have this on my list.

Ready Player One — certainly looks like a major contender. But, lotta competition here.

Solo — Color me intrigued about this one. This seems like a major wild card. No Star Wars movie hasn’t been nominated here, but if there’s gonna be one, this looks like the one. We’ll see.

Welcome to Marwen — Zemeckis always gets shortlisted. The Walk got shortlisted. My gut says they don’t go there. But I need to see the movie first. Right now, until I find out otherwise, I’m saying this will not be on the final list. So, 5/7.

– – – – –

That leaves me with: no Christopher Robin, no Jurassic World, no Welcome to Marwen.

Which means:

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Black Panther
Avengers: Infinity War
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Your category will be of those, most likely. Anything is, of course, possible, but those seem like the big contenders in this one.

Now, I have a really hard time thinking Marvel gets on three times. I have to assume Avengers gets on because of what it is. Ant-Man they like, but they didn’t nominate the first one, and when faced with Avengers and Black Panther over Avengers and Ant-Man, they’re gonna basically ejaculate in their pants with an opportunity to nominate Black Panther. So I’m just gonna assume they go there, even though I thought the effects in that movie were subpar.

There’s no way you can assume Marvel gets three nominees on the final category. I think you pick which one doesn’t make it and go from there. Most people assume Black Panther makes it, and Avengers certainly seems like their cup of team, though maybe not. I’d be happy with just one of the three making it, but at this point, you gotta probably assume two. But that still makes your life easier, because now that’s one off the list of seven, which means you really only need to eliminate one other film and you have a final list of five.

First Man, I’m gonna hope they nominate that. But you never know with them. Poppins, I already said I think makes it. And Solo vs. Ready Player One… tough call. I feel like they make the statement and leave Star Wars off, but that’s just a gut feeling in December and nothing else.

So, if Im picking right now (and a lot can change in five weeks), my guess on a final category is:

Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Ready Player One

Even looking at that, I know I’m gonna be wrong. Ready Player One just feels like an outlier on that list. But I’ve got five weeks to figure it out. For now, here’s our shortlist, and now you just gotta eliminate half of it by January 22nd.

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2 responses

  1. The fact that Black Panther will likely make the final five after the negative reception over its models is an utter travesty. >_<

    December 17, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    • Yeah…I hope Infinity War gets the award. Marvel is overdue to win this thing at least once, and they deserve it for Thanos alone, but, Black Panther is really substandard for them in terms of special effects.

      December 18, 2018 at 1:12 am

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