It’s a bit early to tell for sure, but this year’s major awards shows could be dominated by sci-fi, horror, and fantasy movies. The proof is in the results of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, where genre projects took home a good portion of the prizes. Some were obvious choices, while others were a little more surprising. For instance, Blade Runner 2049 was the runner-up for Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins) and won Best Production Design (Dennis Gassner) despite the movie’s poor box-office receipts, proof that it truly did make an impression on reviewers.
However, it was Guillermo del Toro's Cold War fairy tale, The Shape of Water, that took a good number of awards, including Best Cinematography (Dan Laustsen), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), and Best Director (del Toro tied with Call Me By Your Name's Luca Guadagnino). The movie was also a runner-up for Best Score (Alexandre Desplat).
The fact that these projects got recognition next to serious dramatic heavyweights like Lady Bird, Mudbound, and Call Me By Your Name is a very good sign for genre this year. As we move toward the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Oscars, it might do you good to put your money on sci-fi and horror when the inveitable office pool rolls around. All the categories and winners might just be full of fish-men, skeletons, replicants, and surgery-crazy white people.