The films in the running for the 2021 Best Visual Effects Oscar are “Love and Monsters,” “The Midnight Sky,” “Mulan,” “The One and Only Ivan,” and “Tenet.” Our odds currently indicate that “Tenet” (31/10) will be the winner, followed in order by “The Midnight Sky” (39/10), “Mulan” (9/2), “The One and Only Ivan” (9/2), and “Love and Monsters” (9/2).
Included among the 20 individuals in this year’s lineup are six past nominees, three of whom have triumphed here at least once before. The “Love and Monsters” team consists entirely of rookie nominees (Genevieve Camilleri, Brian Cox, Matt Everitt, and Matt Sloan). The remaining 10 first-timers are: Matthew Kasmir, Max Solomon, and David Watkins (“The Midnight Sky”), Sean Faden, Steve Ingram, and Seth Maury (“Mulan”), Santiago Colomo Martinez, Greg Fisher, and Ben Jones (“The One and Only Ivan”), and David Lee (“Tenet”).
After collecting a pair of prizes for “Inception” (2011) and “Interstellar” (2015), Andrew Lockley (“Tenet”) has earned a third bid for a collaboration with writer-director Christopher Nolan and is looking to maintain his perfect record. He shares the nomination with Scott R. Fisher, who won alongside him for “Interstellar,” and Andrew Jackson, who first received a notice for “Mad Max: Fury Road” in 2016.
Nick Davis (“The One and Only Ivan”) also has a connection to Nolan, having earned his first bid in this category for “The Dark Knight” in 2009. Davis remains the only member of that film’s visual effects foursome to have not yet earned a win following their loss to the team from “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Chris Corbould and Paul Franklin both shared in the “Inception” victory, while Tim Webber’s work in “Gravity” brought him a trophy in 2014. Franklin went on to win a second time as part of the “Interstellar” group.
Chris Lawrence (“The Midnight Sky”) won this award for “Gravity” alongside Webber seven years ago and later garnered bids for “The Martian” (2016) and “Christopher Robin” (2019). The only other people who have received at least four bids in this category over the past 10 years are Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, Dan Sudick, and Patrick Tubach. Lawrence shared his nomination for “The Martian” with Anders Langlands, who has been recognized this year for his work in “Mulan.”
Camilleri is the only woman in this year’s lineup and one of only four to be nominated here in academy history. She was preceded by Suzanne M. Benson (“Aliens,” 1987), Pamela Easley (“Cliffhanger,” 1994), and Sara Bennett (“Ex Machina,” 2016). She could follow Benson and Bennett as the third female champion in this category.
The films that won in this category most recently are “1917” (2020), “First Man” (2019), “Blade Runner 2049” (2018), and “The Jungle Book” (2017). This year’s winner will be revealed during the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony, airing April 25 on ABC.
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