The Rundown 2011: Visual Effects

For our tenth Rundown article, we look at a visually stunning, if commercially appealing category. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Visual Effects as well as general commentary about the race. Tomorrow, we’ll cover a category that favors largely exterior films over more intimate ones.

Best Visual Effects

Winner Predictions

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
  • Hugo
  • Real Steel
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (O) (O) (O)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Runner-Up Predictions

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (R)
  • Hugo (R)
  • Real Steel (R)

(color and symbol key at bottom of page)

Wesley Lovell: Long before the nominations came out, I would have put money down on Rise of the Planet of the Apes taking this award hands-down. Yet, as the season has progressed, what seemed like a sure frontrunner has now found itself faced with tough competition. The film should have swept up several prizes at the Visual Effects Society awards. It took only two. Sure, one was the grand prize, but the other was for best character design for Caesar, an award which star Andy Serkis has won on every previous occasion. Then the BAFTA Awards came and homegrown Harry Potter took another prize from Planet of the Apes, which leads me to believe that perhaps its standing isn’t as strong as it once was. In the end, I think the Oscar will still end up in the hands of Rise, but at this point, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if either Harry Potter or Best Picture nominee Hugo didn’t take the honor. Potter has the benefit of finding its seven previous films Oscar-less, leaving few lasting opportunities for Oscar voters to recognize the series. Hugo has the benefit of being a Best Picture nominee, which usually means a victory in the category…but only if it had more obvious and more bountiful effects.

Peter J. Patrick: I think the effects in Rise of the Planet of the Apes were so well done that the competition might as well stay home and watch the Oscars on TV. Only possible exception might be Hugo if that film does better overall than I expect it to.

Tripp Burton: Rise of the Planet of the Apes has the most commented on visual effects of the year, and the CGI monkeys should win this award pretty handily (the VES success doesn’t hurt its chances, either). If it doesn’t win, it would probably be a surprise win for the giant machinery of Real Steel. A sweep of the tech awards, however, could give Hugo an upset here, or nostalgia for the end of a legendary series pushing the final Harry Potter film into one victory in this category.


Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists

Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton
(New) = New Prediction
(O) = Original, Post-Nomination Prediction
(R) = Rundown Series Prediction

1 Comment

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  1. It’s worth noting that no Best Picture nominee has lost this award to a non-Best Picture nominee since “Patton” lost to “Tora! Tora! Tora!” in 1970. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” could buck the trend, of course, considering its effects are much more obvious and talked about, but don’t necessarily count out the people who will vote “Hugo” simply because they prefer the movie.

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