A bunch of sequels and a remake are vying for the Best Visual Effects Oscar this year, many of them from Disney, from Bill Condon’s live-action remake of Disney’s classic “Beauty and the Beast” to Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
Three Fox films offer stunning VFX. “War for the Planet of the Apes,” which advances its visual effects technology over the last Matt Reeves installment, features Weta Digital’s astonishing array of digital apes led by performance capture master Andy Serkis as Caesar, and could win Weta’s Joe Letteri (“Avatar,” “King Kong,” “The Lord of the Rings”) his fifth Oscar. Another visually sumptuous sequel is Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049.” And Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” is also impressive.
Two Warner Bros. blockbusters, Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic “Dunkirk” and Patty Jenkins’ World War I superhero origin myth “Wonder Woman,” are also in the hunt.
And for the first time, Netflix is vying for a nomination in this category, for Oscar perennial Plan B’s “Okja.” Erik De Boer, who shared a win for “Life of Pi” for creating the Tiger, animated the lovable — and dangerous– title character, super-pig Okja. This will be a question of how many VFX branch voters check out the lauded Bong Joon Ho film.
Check out our alphabetical picks below; no movie is a frontrunner unless I’ve seen it. Craft editor Bill Desowitz also weighed in.
Frazer Churchill, Viktor Muller, Jessica Norman, Bill Westenhofer (“Wonder Woman”)
Richard Clegg, Paul Lambert, Viktor Muller, John Nelson (“Blade Runner 2049”)
Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Tim McGovern, Paul Corbould (“Dunkirk”)
Joe Leterri, Dan Lemmon, Eric Winquist, Dan Cervin (“War for the Planet of the Apes”)
Kyle McCulloch, Kelly Port, Glen Pratt, Paul Corbould (“Beauty and the Beast”)
Richard Bain, Ben Morris, Michael Mulholland, Chris Corbould (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”)
Dennis Berardi (“The Shape of Water”)
Erik De Boer, Jun Hyoung Kim, Jeon Hyoung Lee, Kyung-soo Park (“Okja”)
Theodore Bialek, Lou Pecora, Doug Spilatro, Daniel Sudick (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”)
Jake Morrison, Alexis Wajsbrot, Chad Wiebe, Brian Cox (“Thor: Ragnarok”)
Gary Brozenich, Bill Kent, Sheldon Stopsack, Dan Oliver (“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”)
Matthew Crnich, Ray McMaster, Kevin Andrew Smith, Doug Spilatro, Christopher Townsend (“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”)
Scott Farrar, Julian Foddy, Berter Orpak, Jason Smith, Sheldon Stopsack (“Transformers: The Last Knight”)