Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2016 Oscars short list announced for "Best Visual Effects"

This year, the short list for movies that could win the Oscar for "Best Visual Effects" was expanded to include twenty films. They are:
  • Ant-Man
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Chappie
  • Everest
  • Ex Machina
  • Furious 7
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • The Revenant
  • Spectre
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Terminator Genisys
  • Tomorrowland
  • The Walk
I am glad our work on Furious 7 helped that movie make the cut. Next comes the bake-off, which I assume will be twice as long this year (!). Congratulations to all those who worked on visual effects for these notable films.

If I had to predict which films will become the final five nominees, I would choose:
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Walk
Of course, based on my findings from studying last year's Oscar race, this probably means a space-themed movie will once again win for "Best Visual Effects," which has traditionally been the case in years with multiple space-themed nominees. Of course, it is still too soon to see how many will end up nominated, but this could make the space films The Martian and Star Wars: The Force Awakens the strongest contenders to win. Jupiter Ascending, another space movie on the list, seems like a long shot due to bad reviews and a cast lacking Oscar nominees and winners, even though the Wachowskis have Oscar pedigree from their "Best Visual Effects" winner The Matrix.

The Martian has a cast with many Oscar nominees, but no actual winners other than Damon (who won for writing), and the number of Oscar nominees Star Wars: The Force Awakens has in its cast other than Harrison Ford is...unknown to me because I have avoided that IMDb page like the plague to keep that movie as spoiler-free as possible for me. I should have a slightly better prediction after I see it during Winter break, but history shows that Star Wars movies with the original cast win Oscars, and follow-ups do not (Three winners, three losers). Stay tuned for more observations on the Oscar visual effects race.

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