The big-budget dystopian adventure Mortal Engines is out next weekend and signs are pointing to a sub par performance at the box office. While it’s directed by first timer Christian Rivers, it comes from the writing team of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. This is the trio behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises, as well as 2005’s King Kong remake.
Those pictures have a slew of technical Oscar nominations and wins to their credit. So it’s worth wondering if Engines could compete in some of those races. Unlike most of the aforementioned pics, reviews are not strong here with a current rating of 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Visual Effects and the two sound categories could potentially be in play.
My feeling is that only Visual Effects is possible and that could be a stretch. MCU titles Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther likely have their spots reserved with a third (Ant–Man and the Wasp) in the mix. Disney also has Mary Poppins Returns and Solo: A Star Wars Story competing. Other serious contenders include First Man and Ready Player One.
Bottom line: I wouldn’t completely dismiss Engines as a contender for Visual accolades, but don’t count on it. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…