Awards Watch With Math Teacher Movies – November 9th, 2021: Dune & The Oscars

Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.

A few weeks ago, one of the biggest movies of the year was released. Dune is not only a huge moment in film, but is also one that will probably be a huge part of the Oscar race this year. But where will Dune land in this year’s Oscar race? Let’s parcel out the possible awards. 

Starting with the technical awards, this movie has a huge chance of being nominated for and winning Visual Effects and Sound as it truly immerses you in another world through practicality and intensity. In terms of the Makeup and Hairstyling and Costume Design categories, it feels like both nominations are imminent as so much is much is accurately constructed in terms of the character design. 

Hans Zimmer is an absolute legend among musical composers, yet he has only won an Oscar once for The Lion King. There is a chance he picks up his second win for this film where the score stood out and made for a great, immersive film. 

Rounding out the technicals, it is all but certain that Dune will be nominated for Best Editing.. Even though the film has a long runtime, the cuts are decisive during action sequences. The film will almost certainly be nominated for Production Design and is likely to win as the entire film takes place in a world of palaces and deserts that were wonderfully realistic and fantastical. The look of this film is one of the best of the year and will likely receive a nomination and a possible win for Best Cinematography. Unfortunately, from what I am hearing and reading, the film’s cinematography is not being considered the standout it deserves to be. 

There is a really high chance this film will grab an Adapted Screenplay nomination because it does a great job with a complex work. For what it’s worth, there are not many stand out nominations this year for this category, so a popular science fiction work could clip in. 

Dune is unlikely to receive any nominations for the performance categories. There are no true standouts and the movie is not meant to be a performance showcase. Rebecca Fergusson has the best chance for a nomination, but it will be almost impossible to fit into the current list of Best Actress nominations

Finally, as far as the two big awards, Best Picture and Best Director, the Oscars have been trying to seem more relevant by honoring a popular film of great quality. Nominating Dune for these categories would be the best way to achieve that relevance, especially considering ten films will be nominated. Denis Villenueve earned a well-deserved nomination for his film Arrival and has continued to garner more and more respect in Hollywood and from the Academy since then. He deserves the nomination for the craft he put into this film, but it will be difficult for him to continue the momentum of his awards buzz throughout the rest of the Oscar campaigning season. The biggest hindrance for this film’s Oscar success in these two areas is that this is Dune Part 1, so voters might wait to see what Villenueve can do with the conclusion for this series, similar to a Lord of the Rings situation.
Dune deserves credit for continuing to popularize the movie industry by inserting itself in the national conversation with an artistic director and an approachable narrative. It is also keeping theaters necessary and bringing crowds to the theater, which is something that Academy voters adore based on their voting history of theater films over any that show up on streaming.  However, can it being a popular science fiction movie keep it in the conversation? Only time will tell.

Follow Sean on Instagram at @MathTeacherMovies

What Do You Think?

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