Oscar season is just around the corner, so this is as good a time as any to start talking about which films will potentially be walking away with hardware next March. The Academy is helping to get the buzz going early by releasing the names of the 10 films that will be competing for the five spots in the Best Visual Effects category next year – and it’s an impressive list of features.
All the titles you’d expect to see (well, save for two – more on those in a minute) are present and accounted for. Early favorite Gravity will almost assuredly make the final cut, and is joined by titles like Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, and big-budget offerings like Oblivion and Elysium.
With superhero movies doing big business and buoying the summer blockbuster season, it’s not particularly surprising that titles like Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World are also on the list. But how bizarre is it that Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel – a virtual FX extravaganza – didn’t make the short list? Also missing is the fantastic Great Gatsby. Check out a video on the latter's effects below.
The Great Gatsby VFX from Chris Godfrey on Vimeo.
The omission becomes even more glaring when you realize that films like World War Z and box office bomb The Lone Ranger got nods. Lone Ranger did have an epic train crash, but was anything in World War Z actually more impressive than Man of Steel? Running zombies who look like a swarm of ants didn’t exactly blow me away…
Narrowing this list down to five should be pretty interesting. I suspect Pacific Rim, Gravity and Desolation of Smaug will make the cut for sure (that last one is an assumption. If Smaug is as amazing as people have been saying, it should make the top five), but things get harder to call for those last two spots. I don’t see Lone Ranger or World War Z making the cut, which means five movies are fighting tooth and nail to get on the final ballot. I’d give a nod to Oblivion, but then it’s just too hard to pick. Probably all academic anyway, since it would be a pretty major upset if anything beat Gravity (although I’m secretly rooting for Pacific Rim if only because it’s refreshing to see a big-budget FX movie that is set up in a way that allows you to actually follow the action. GDT is like the “anti-Michael Bay” in this regard. Maybe that gets a nod for editing, though).
Anyway, who gets your votes? Who would you put on the final ballot? Do you think Man of Steel got snubbed? What about Ender’s Game? Hit the comment section and let us know what you think.
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