Visual Effects Society Awards preview: Oscar frontrunner ‘Avatar’ faces rivals here first

No surprise that “Avatar: The Way of Water” leads among the nominees for the Visual Effects Society Awards being handed out on Feb. 15. After all, it is the clear frontrunner for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars. This blockbuster contends in the VES equivalent of the Best Picture race — visual effects in a feature motion picture — plus a slew of other categories. Indeed, it broke the record of 11 set by the original film and reaped a whopping 14 Visual Effects Society Awards nominations on January 17.

Also in competition for the top VES award are 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).

One of the other Oscar nominees, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” was limited to a single mention here while the other, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” was snubbed by the VES Awards. Nominees in the 25 categories were selected by Visual Effects Society members attending virtual events hosted around the world.

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