Oscars Predictions: Best Visual Effects – ‘Bloodshot’ and Chechnya’ Are In, ‘Greyhound’ and ‘Invisible Man’ Are Out

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

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UPDATED: Feb. 9, 2021

This was a slaughterhouse of top-tier contenders. Apple TV Plus seemed like a shoo-in with “Greyhound” as did Universal Pictures’ “The Invisible Man” and Paramount Pictures’ “Sonic the Hedgehog.” All failed to make the lineup in place of shock admissions like Lionsgate’s “Bloodshot” and Paramount’s “Love and Monsters.” “The One and Only Ivan” had a strong day while “Soul” is another one of the animated films that typically make the shortlist but fails to make it on nomination day. This year could present a different outcome for it as it may have the goods to go the way of “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

PRECURSORS LEADER: “Tenet” (Warner Bros) – Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott R. Fisher, Mike Chambers
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)

Welcome to Chechnya (2020)
David Isteev
Credit: HBO

Courtesy of HBO


  1. "Tenet" (Warner Bros.)
    Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott R. Fisher, Mike Chambers

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    Jackson - 1 nomination (2015's "Mad Max: Fury Road")
    Lockley - 2 nominations, 2 wins (2010's "Inception" and 2014's "Interstellar")
    Fisher - 1 nomination, 1 win ("Interstellar")
    Chambers - Never nominated
    DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
    SYNOPSIS: Armed with only one word, Tenet, and fighting for the survival of the entire world, a Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.
    STARRING: John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Robert Pattinson, Michael Caine, Kenneth Branagh

  2. "The Midnight Sky" (Netflix)
    Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, Dave Watkins, Max Solomon

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    Kasmir- Never nominated
    Lawrence - 3 nominations, 1 win (2013's "Gravity")
    Watkins - Never nominated
    Solomon - Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: George Clooney
    SYNOPSIS: This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine, a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.
    STARRING: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Kyle Chandler, Demián Bichir, Tiffany Boone, Caoilinn Springall

  3. "Mank" (Netflix)
    Wei Zheng, Simon Carr, Pablo Helman, James Pastorius

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    Zheng - Never nominated
    Carr - Never nominated
    Helman - 3 nominations (2002's "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones," 2005's "War of the Worlds" and 2019's "The Irishman")
    Pastorius - Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: David Fincher
    SYNOPSIS: 1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for Orson Welles.
    STARRING: Tom Burke, Lily Collins, Joseph Cross, Charles Dance, Monika Gossman, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Tuppence Middleton, Toby Leonard Moore, Gary Oldman, Tom Pelphrey, Amanda Seyfried, Sam Troughton

  4. "Welcome to Chechnya" (HBO)
    Ryan Laney

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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: David France
    SYNOPSIS: A group of activists risk their lives fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in Chechnya.
    STARRING: Olga Baranova, David Isteev, Maxim Lapunov

  5. "Soul" (Pixar)
    Michael Fong, Bill Watral

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    Fong- Never nominated
    Watral- Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Pete Docter, Kemp Powers
    SYNOPSIS: A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.
    STARRING: Jamie Foxx, Angela Bassett, Daveed Diggs, Quest Love, Phylicia Rashad, Tina Fey, Graham Norton

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“The One and Only Ivan” (Disney Plus)
Courtesy of Disney+


  1. "The One and Only Ivan" (Disney Plus)
    Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones, Santiago Colomo Martinez

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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Thea Sharrock
    SYNOPSIS: A gorilla named Ivan tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Ruby as they hatch a plan to escape from captivity..
    STARRING: Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Phillipa Soo, Chaka Khan, Mike White, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren, Danne DeVito, Ron Funches

  2. "Mulan" (Disney Plus)
    Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury, Steve Ingram

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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated

    DIRECTOR: Niki Caro
    SYNOPSIS: A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.
    STARRING: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Gong Li, Tzi Ma, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Yosan An, Rosalind Chao

  3. "Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)" (Warner Bros.)

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    DIRECTOR: Cathy Yan
    SYNOPSIS: After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.
    STARRING: Margot Robbie, Ewan McGregor, Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong

  4. "Bloodshot" (Lionsgate)

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    DIRECTOR: David S.F. Wilson
    SYNOPSIS: Ray Garrison, a slain soldier, is re-animated with superpowers.
    STARRING: Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan

  5. "Love and Monsters" (Paramount Pictures)

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    DIRECTOR: Michael Matthews
    SYNOPSIS: In a monster-infested world, Joel learns his girlfriend is just 85 miles away. To make the dangerous journey, Joel discovers his inner hero to be with the girl of his dreams.
    STARRING: Dylan O'Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories
††† = official eligible nominees not yet determined by AMPAS

About best visual effects category:
The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The magnificent Dennis Muren has a stellar 6 Oscars in this category which include “The Abyss,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Jurassic Park.” He also 2 Special Achievement Oscars for “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” of the “Star Wars’ series. Gordon Jennings and Ken Ralston have five wins each.

Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

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2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)


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