No surprise that Oscar frontrunner “Gravity” enjoys a commanding lead in our predictions as to what film will take the top prize at Wednesday’s Visual Effects Society Awards. The blockbuster has odds of 1/10 to win the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — visual effects in a visual effects-driven feature motion picture.
The fifth Oscar nominee — “The Lone Ranger” — contends over in the supporting visual effects race. However, our predictions put it in third there at 10/1 behind frontrunner “Rush” (4/7) and “The Great Gatsby” (9/2). That race is rounded out by “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (25/1), “The Wolf of Wall Street” (33/1) and “White House Down” (100/1).
“Frozen” is far ahead in the animated feature race at 1/10 with “Despicable Me 2” and “Monsters University” at 33/1 while “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2” and “The Croods” are at 50/1.
Last year, “Life of Pi” won four of its six VES bids, including taking the top prize where it edged out Oscar rivals “The Avengers,” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “Prometheus” as well as “Battleship.” It went on to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
In 2011, two of the Oscar nominees — “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Hugo” — each won two VES awards. “Hugo,” which won the supporting visual effects award, went on to claim the Oscar over, among others, “Apes,” which took the top prize at the VES.
In 2010, “Inception” won all four of its bids including the top prize. It took home the Oscar too. In 2009, “Avatar” won six of the seven VES races in which it contended and also prevailed at the Academy Awards. At the VES, “Avatar” is tied with “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” for second place while “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” reigns supreme with seven awards.
In 2008, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” won the top prize with both the VES and the Oscars. However, in 2007, the top VES winner “Transformers” lost the Visual Effects Oscar to “The Golden Compass.”
Over the first five years of the VES kudos, the winners matched four times — in 2006 (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”), 2005 (“King Kong”), 2003 (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”) and 2002 (“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”). In 2004, the VES chose “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” while the Oscar went to “Spider-Man 2.”
The nominees in 24 categories of film, animation, television, commercials, special venues and video games were chosen by VES members who viewed submissions at the FotoKem screening facilities in Burbank and New York, FotoKem’s Spy in San Francisco, and facilities in London, Sydney, Vancouver and Wellington. Winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. John Dykstra is to receive the lifetime achievement award while “Gravity” helmer Alfonso Cuaron is to be feted with the Visionary Award.
Can any film beat “Gravity” for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu.