Awards season has officially begun for Marvel Studios' Black Panther, which has been announced as the top winner of the 2018 Hollywood Film Awards, ahead of the official ceremony today. This is a very good omen for the 18 entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is setting its sights on Best Picture (among other statues) at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.
Considered to be the official kickoff for awards season, the Hollywood Film Awards recognize the usual achievements like directing, acting, costumes, makeup, documentary filmmaking, writing, acting, visual effects, and animation. However, they also provide shoutouts to some interesting categories you don't often see like Breakthrough Director, Breakout Ensemble, and Breakout Actor/Actress.
Black Panther (also the winner of Best Production Design) wasn't Marvel's only victory. Avengers: Infinity War (the movie that immediately followed Panther) won the prize for Visual Effects—Dan Deleeuw, Kelly Port, Russel Earl and Dan Sucick were specifically honored.
Other genre honorees include John Krasinski's directorial debut A Quiet Place (Best in Sound), the long-awaited Incredibles 2 from Pixar (Best in Animation), and Damien Chazelle's third feature film, the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man.
This last one, like Black Panther, shows a lot of promise as it won three awards for Directing (Chazelle), Composing (Justin Hurwitz), and Editing (Tom Cross). Despite First Man's disappointing box office returns (it's only made $87 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo), the highly intimate look at the lead up to and execution of the Apollo 11 moon landing is off to a strong awards season start.
The Best Picture race could come down to Marvel and Chazelle, with the latter having already won Best Director (and "almost" winning Best Picture) for La La Land at the 89th Oscars.
Awkwafina is hosting the 22nd annual HFA ceremony at The Beverly Hilton today.