Awards season is heating up in the run-up to Oscar Sunday, with big genre winners at two ceremonies: The 71st British Academy Film Awards and the 32nd American Society of Cinematographers Awards. In the latter there were two sci-fi wins, by Boris Mojsovski, CSC, for the 12 Monkeys episode "Thief," and by Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, for Blade Runner 2049.
The brunt of the accolades, however, were won at the BAFTAs, which are essentially the English answer to the Academy Awards -- Joanna Lumley (The Wolf of Wall Street, Paddington 2) was this year's host. Genre victors include:
- Roger Deakins: Best Cinematography: (Blade Runner 2049)
- Gerd Nefzer and John Nelson: Best Special Visual Effects (Blade Runner 2049)
- Guillermo del Toro: Best Director (The Shape of Water)
- Alexandre Desplat: Best Music (The Shape of Water)
- Paul Austerberry, Jeff Melvin, Shane Vieau: Best Sound Editing (The Shape of Water)
- Daniel Kaluuya: the EE Rising Star Award (voted on by the public) (Get Out)
- Coco: Best Animated Film
- SYFY's own 12 Monkeys won for the episode "Thief." Season 4 returns later this year.
Del Toro's win for Best Director and the three wins for Shape of Water are good omens, possibly indicators that the Mexican director's Cold War fairy tale can go the distance at the 90th Oscars on March 4. It also helps that the film has the most nominations of 2017 filmography with 13 chances to win. Similarly, Blade Runner may come out on top in the Academy's technical categories (it has five nominations) after failing so dismally at the box office.
Even Get Out has an opportunity to become the second horror movie in history to win an Oscar after Silence of the Lambs. Yes, genre could go all the way this year, proving that just because a project has water monsters, humanoid robots, and sinister brain surgeries doesn't mean it needs to be considered pulpy and disposable escapism. Lord of the Rings already accomplished this feat in 2003 with Return of the King. Guillermo del Toro, Jordan Peele, and Denis Villeneuve may prove once again that horror, sci-fi, and fantasy are just as important as historical epics, heartbreaking dramas, and foul-mouthed Bostonian policemen.