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

“Avatar: The Way of Water” broke the record of 11 set by the original film and reaped a whopping 14 Visual Effects Society Awards nominations on January 17. No surprise that this blockbuster is the clear frontrunner for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars. Among its VES bids is one for visual effects in a feature motion picture, which is the society’s equivalent of Best Picture.

Also in competition for this top VES award are four of its rivals for the Oscar: “The Batman” (3 nominations total); “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” (2 nominations total); “Jurassic World: Dominion” (2 nominations total); and “Top Gun: Maverick” (3 nominations total).

Two of the other five films on the academy shortlist for Best Visual Effects — “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and “Thirteen Lives” — are limited to a single mention. The other three — “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and “Nope” — were snubbed by the society.

The animated feature nominees are: “The Bad Guys,” “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Mad God,” “The Sea Beast,” “Strange World” and “Turning Red.”

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Nominees in 25 categories were selected by VES members via virtual events hosted around the world. The VES Awards will be handed out on Feb. 15.

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