We regret to inform you that Slant Magazine officially supports Avatar’s smurferific visual effects in this category. Of course, even if you haven’t drunk the Avatar-is-a-game-changer Kool Aid the film’s most ardent fans have been hawking, it’s difficult not to throw your support behind the picture’s robust CGI landscapes and gargantuan creepy crawlies given the paltry, almost dubious, competition. Save for its exciting skydiving set piece, and that suggestive showdown where the Starship Enterprise is cornered by a torrent of missiles like an egg being attacked by a splurt of jizz, isn’t Star Trek’s most memorable—and agonizing—special effect the annoyingly shaky camera J.J. Abrams wields like a sword throughout (which is to say nothing of his cast’s Tiger Beat posturing)? Though we’re scratching our heads over District 9 missing out on a nomination in the makeup category, we’re thinking the film stands no chance here unless there’s still enough unrepentant Crash aficionados in the Academy willing to count this film’s offensive racial allegory and uninspired docu-realist camera as visual effects. Again, this one is a no-brainer.
Will Win: Avatar
Should Win: Avatar