Oscar Watch: Ready Player One

Perhaps the most high-profile title to screen at the South by Southwest Film Festival over the weekend was Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. The sci-fi action spectacle is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 bestseller that’s chock full of pop culture references. In the lead up to its stateside release on March 29, advance word of mouth has been mixed. However, the screening yesterday may have changed those perceptions. Early reviews are calling this Spielberg’s biggest crowd pleaser in quite some time. The festival only gives us a small sampling of critical reaction, but it is certainly encouraging.

Even if the pic turns out to be a box office success, that doesn’t necessarily translate to any awards love (especially considering the genre). I don’t see this as a factor in the big races like Picture or Director. That said, Ready appears primed to be a player in one particular category and that’s Visual Effects. It’s said to be a feast for the eyes and though competition could be fierce, a nomination in that race seems quite feasible. Other tech categories such as Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Production Design could also be on table.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…


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