“Avatar: The Way of Water” won a record nine awards from the Visual Effects Society on February 15. The blockbuster won every category in which it contended, including the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — visual effects in a feature motion picture. With multiple bids in several races, it had reaped a record 14 nominations and broke the record of 11 set by the original film.
Also in competition for the top VES award were two of its rivals for the Oscar — “The Batman” (3 nominations total) and “Top Gun: Maverick” (3 nominations total) — plus “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” (2 nominations total) and “Jurassic World: Dominion” (2 nominations total). The dominance by “Avatar: The Way of the Water” meant that all of these films were shut out of the winner’s circle as was one of the other Oscar nominees, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which was limited to a single mention here. The other Oscar contender, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” was snubbed by the VES Awards.
“Thirteen Lives” won the supporting visual effects award. Over on the animation side, “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” picked up a hat trick while “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” won one.
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