Finally a little bit of action in this category. With nearly all of the major player blockbusters that would have dominated this category moved off into later 2021 or 2022, it’s going to make visual effects a bit more interesting.
I know some will call it barren but, like a lot of other categories with fewer choices and not as many sequel/prequel IPs, voters will have to dig a bit deeper and even appreciate the amount of unseen heavy lifting that supporting visual effects do to carry a film. While we know that everything in George Clooney’s space drama The Midnight Sky is pure VFX wizardry, seeing the bits and pieces of backgrounds, animals, sky and atmosphere that populate David Fincher’s early Hollywood drama Mank should be more than enough to impress. Same goes for the superb work in Leigh Whannell’s The Invisible Man.
Digitized animals and creatures as main characters should also find a place, at least on the shortlist, in the form of The One and Only Ivan, Doolittle and Sonic the Hedgehog.
The case of Warner Bros and how they’re propping up Wonder Woman 1984 on their awards FYC page and not Birds of Prey is a mystery. What are they thinking?
Here are my ranked 2021 Oscar predictions in Visual Effects for January.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – new entry this month
1. The Midnight Sky (Netflix)
Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, Dave Watkins, Max Solomon
2. Tenet (Warner Bros)
Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott R. Fisher, Mike Chambers
3. The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures)
Jonathan Dearing, Marcus Bolton, Matt Ebb, Aevar Bjarnason
4. Mulan (Disney+)
Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, Steve Ingram
5. Mank (Netflix)
Wei Zheng, Simon Carr, Pablo Helman, James Pastorius
6. Greyhound (Apple TV+)
7. Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros)
8. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount Pictures)
9. The One and Only Ivan (Disney+)
Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones, Santiago Colomo Martinez
10. Doolittle (Universal Pictures)
Other Contenders (alphabetical by film)
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (Warner Bros)
The Call of the Wild (20th Century Studios)
Greenland (STX Entertainment)
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix)
Brad Parker, Carlos Monzon, Eric Guagilone, Stefano Pepin
Monster Hunter (Screen Gems/Constantin Films)
The New Mutants (20th Century Studios)
News of the World (Universal Pictures)
Roni Rodrigues, Ian Fellows, Andy Morley, Brandon Keys McLaughlin
Over the Moon (Netflix)
Michael Fong, Bill Watrel
Underwater (20th Century Studios)