Oscars 2018: Best Visual Effects

Colleen Bachman, Ryan Cunningham, Danni Henderson, Rob Holland, and Kent Blocher – mother!
Erik De Boer and Jun Hyoung Kim (Supervisors) and Stephen Clee (Animation Supervisor) – OKJA
Dennis Berardi, Kirsten Bligh, Jae Won D. Lee, Ryan McDuff, John Markle, Brnadon Schaafsma– THE SHAPE OF WATER
Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbound, and Neal Scanlon – STAR WARS EPISODE VIII: THE LAST JEDI
Matt Holmes (FX editor), et.al. – WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

This is one of the most difficult Oscar® categories to parse out, mainly because “visual effects” for a motion picture is realized by an imposing army of FX editors, animators, supervisors, compositors, and a whole host of other positions that individually can be nameless, but as a whole are a make-or-break element of any movie. And clearly, visual effects artistry isn’t left up to Disney or Pixar — everybody in the world is doing it, and doing it well. In fact, this field is so filled with talented works that I was compelled to leave out GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 — despite using a BTW still from the film.

Among the best of a crowded field would have to be Colleen Bachman, Ryan Cunningham, Danni Henderson, Rob Holland, and Kent Blocher’s work on Darren Aronofsky’s mother!, which succeeded wildly in turning a creepy country house into Dante’s Inferno, the remnants of a nuclear holocaust, and back again. A special nod would HAVE to go to the team behind director Bong Joon-ho’s polarizing but tres excellent OKJA (I saw this on 35mm, so the visual effects job as screened on a non-digital platform is all the more amaze-balls). While THE SHAPE OF WATER and STAR WARS EPISODE EIGHT: THE LAST JEDI would have to be considered essential as part of any Academy Awards© discussion, an Oscar® recommendation would have to be awarded to the army that brought to life WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. And hopefully, the astounding Andy Serkis can move on to bigger and better things.


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