House Logo
Explore categories +

Blade Runner 2049 (#110 of 5)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Sound Mixing

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

Surviving Operation Dynamo would have been a snap compared to having to write about both sound categories for many years in a row. And while I, as a result of having to return to this particular well so many times, probably know about as much the difference between the two categories as your average AMPAS voter, there have been times where that knowledge has frankly been a liability when it comes to predicting the eventual winner. Maybe less so this year, since for the first time in the five-nominees-per-category era, both sound mixing and sound editing nominated the same five films. In the past, sound mixing has been the category where musicals have over-performed against ricocheting bullets and rolling explosions. So Baby Driver would have already been a strong pick as our spoiler here even had it not taken the Association of Motion Picture Sound award. And it would delight us and wouldn’t necessarily surprise us if the film, which dances from speaker to speaker just like music does from Baby’s earbuds, pulls it off. But there’s something about that loss La La Land suffered last year against the indescribably loud Hacksaw Ridge that feels like a terrain-altering sea change for this category. The slates match, and we’re betting the winners do too.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Sound Editing

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

If ever a film is made about Slant’s rolling Oscar coverage, laurels will surely be given to the sound editors who had to convey the blood-curdling magnitude of the hissy fits that Eric Henderson and I throw every year when trying to dodge—or, rather, slap our way out of—having to write about this category. Last year, when this burden was also foisted on me, I obligatorily mentioned that the average Academy member probably can’t tell the difference between sound mixing and sound editing, and that when they’re caught between a show tune and so much sturm und drang, they know where to draw the line in the sand. I then called the race for Hacksaw Ridge, the nominee with the sounds that were, well, the mostest, only for Arrival, our favorite, to persevere. Baby Driver, which recently won the Association of Motion Picture Sound’s mixing award, rolls up to this party as a serious threat in both sound categories, though perhaps less so in this category that tends to favor films that are also best picture nominees. Which means that this is the recent Cinema Audio Society-winning Dunkirk’s to lose.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Cinematography

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

Since Slant started making awards predictions in 2002, we’ve made the mistake—though not as often as others—of calling this category for Roger Deakins, feeling that Oscar was finally ready to make amends. This year, for Blade Runner 2049, this titan of the medium was nominated for the 14th time, and if he loses, he will become the person most nominated in this category without winning. Deakins’s lensing of Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner earned the cinematographer awards from both the American Society of Cinematographers and BAFTA. The last time Deakins managed that feat was in 2002, for his work on the Coen brothers’ The Man Who Wasn’t There, and while we predicted that Deakins would complete the hat trick on Oscar night (we even thought he was due after five nominations), he lost to Andrew Lesnie’s epic-scale lensing of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which surely benefited that year from being the only film in this category that was also up for best picture.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Visual Effects

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

20th Century Fox

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

As they say, the third time’s the charm. Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes both earned visual effects artists Daniel Barrett, Joe Letteri, and Dan Lemmon nominations in this category, and all three (along with Joel Whist) are nominated here for War for the Planet of the Apes, the ostensible final film in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series. We called this race for Rise of the Planet of the Apes way back in 2012, underestimating that Hugo, which isn’t without its own fair share of impressive visual effects, would benefit from the “prestige” factor that comes with being a best picture nominee. We learned our lesson, and four years later we rightfully called the race for Interstellar, as it was the most nominated film in this category. There is, then, a case to be made for Blade Runner 2049, which enters the Oscar race with five nominations and is a strong competitor in at least three of them. But there’s a reason why War for the Planet of the Apes both outperformed Blade Runner 2049 at the box office and at the Visual Effects Society Awards, as the photorealistic effects that dominate Matt Reeves’s pop masterpiece set a bar so high that not only is it impossible to imagine it being cleared any time soon, but they make the FX work from Rise of the Planet of the Apes seem like it’s from the Ray Harryhausen era. While it’s worth noting that the VES Awards previously gave their top prize to the first two films in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, it’s difficult to imagine AMPAS not wanting to give Andy Serkis’s swan song as Caesar a pat on the head for a job well done across the three films.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Production Design

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Production Design

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Production Design

In a weird double-dipping twist of fate, the nominees behind Beauty and the Beast and Darkest Hour will be competing against themselves in two separate Oscar categories. That could spell hard luck for production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer (as it could also for costume designer Jacqueline Durran in her category). Still, production design winners have traditionally skewed more toward the plummy and the plush, and both of Greenwood and Spencer’s vehicles over-qualify in that regard. But neither film successfully amalgamates its overall look into the mise-en-scène itself; instead, both deploy their baroque sets to distract from the hollowness of their thematic surroundings. There’s an argument to be made that Blade Runner 2049 is guilty of the same, just on the other, more Film Twitter-friendly side of the coin. But we’re of the opinion that Dennis Gassner, a previous winner for Bugsy, actually finds cunning ways to walk back from the occasionally shallow excesses of the 1982 Ridley Scott original, adding gravity without sacrificing any dystopian opulence. (It’s the 2046 to the original’s In the Mood for Love, if you prefer.) The original Blade Runner infamously lost to Gandhi, and many other years would find us putting our money on Academy members voting to, like Quantum Leap’s Dr. Sam Beckett, put right what once went wrong. But not this year, which will see the AMPAS going back in time for entirely different reasons.