Oscar Watch: Godzilla vs. Kong

While domestic audiences (via the theater or HBO Max) are about to find out who wins the epic showdown titled Godzilla vs. Kong, there is no doubt which creature holds the advantage with Oscar voters. It opens Wednesday and the review embargo is up as of today. The Adam Wingard directed monster mash currently holds an 81% Rotten Tomatoes rating. That’s currently above the three other titles in the MonsterVerse franchise: 2014’s Godzilla (76%), 2017’s Kong: Skull Island (75%), and 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters (42%).

Now you may be thinking that no movie with Godzilla or Kong in the title has been nominated for Best Picture and it won’t start now. You would be 100% correct. The real question is whether this shows up in the 2021 derby for Best Visual Effects. In that space, our massive gorilla holds a distinct advantage. The 1976 remake of King Kong won a special Academy Award for its visuals and the 2005 remake won Visual Effects outright when it became its own category. In the current MonsterVerse, Kong: Skull Island landed a nomination in the race (losing to Blade Runner 2049). As for Godzilla, the last three American produced iterations (1998 and 2014’s Godzilla and its 2019 sequel) garnered a grand total of zero nods for its effects.

There are likely to be a number of spectacles this year that could contend in VE (several of them pushed back from 2020) so competition will be fierce. Yet Kong has shown his prowess in getting Academy members to notice him and perhaps he can bring his nemesis along for the ride. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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