On Tuesday (Jan. 16), the Visual Effects Society confirmed the status of “War for the Planets of the Apes” as the Oscar frontrunner for Best Visual Effects. This final chapter in the franchise reaped a leading seven bids for the 16th annual edition of these awards bestowed by the visual effects wizards. Its closest Oscar rival, “Blade Runner 2049,” also earned seven nominations.
Both films contend for the top prize at the VES Awards — Best Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture — as does another of our predicted Oscar nominees, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” while a fourth, “Dunkirk,” is nominated down in supporting. Our predicted fifth Oscar nominee, “The Shape of Water,” was shut out of these precursor prizes.
Our official Oscar odds are derived from the predictions of Expert film journalists, the Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year’s Oscar nominations, the All-Star Top 24 who got the top scores when you combine the last two years’ nominations and the thousands of Users who make up the largest (and often savviest) bloc.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
“War for the Planet of the Apes” – 21/10
“Blade Runner 2049” – 3/1
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – 11/2
“Dunkirk” – 8/1
“The Shape of Water” – 10/1
The experts strongly favor “War for the Planet of the Apes” for the win with 20 out of 25 backing its bid. Likewise for five of the eight editors, 14 of the Top 24 and 13 All-Stars. The first two films in the reboot of the franchise — “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” — both contended in this category but lost to “Hugo” and “Interstellar” respectively.
Five of our pro pundits are predicting an upset by “Blade Runner 2049” as are three of our editors, and one-third of both the two dozen users who did the best last year and those who were tops for two years running. The original “Blade Runner” lost its bid in this Oscar race to “E.T.” back in 1983.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.