BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 85th Academy Awards®.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

  • “The Amazing Spider-Man”
  • “Cloud Atlas”
  • “The Dark Knight Rises”
  • “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
  • “John Carter”
  • “Life of Pi”
  • “Marvel’s The Avengers”
  • “Prometheus”
  • “Skyfall”
  • “Snow White and the Huntsman”

All members of the Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the 10 shortlisted films on Thursday, January 3. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

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  • Tye-Grr

    I hope we’ll see this as the nominees:

    Cloud Atlas
    Life of Pi
    The Hobbit
    The Avengers

  • moviewatcher

    When these people voted for The Hobbit to make the 10… did they get to see extracts first? I know they will for phase 2 but what about phase 1?

  • g

    I think they made excellent choices so far, can’t wait for 1/10, it’s the best day ever Oscar nomination day and my birthday!

  • hipper

    I guess you have to be an “action” movie to get nominated this year. Was hoping for ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ to make at least the bake off.

  • Strong contenders. I’d be very happy if John Carter made it – major bomb but good VFX. Cloud Atlas would be a good choice too. I hope the nominations represent not just technical aptitude but design creativity.

    Life of Pi should win. I mean that either way you want to read it.

  • Matt

    No major surprises.

    My predictions for the top 5:

    “Cloud Atlas”
    “The Dark Knight Rises”
    “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
    “Life of Pi”
    “Marvel’s The Avengers”

  • Maris

    I hope JOHN CARTER gets a nomination. Very underrated, and unfairly maligned in my opinion. Plus, Michael Giacchino’s score was fantastic!

  • Tero Heikkinen

    What a strong category this is, but I think Matt above is correct with his five.

    Life of Pi will probably win this, but as I’m a big fan of more practical, traditional effects, I wish for TDKR surprise win. The opening scene alone should do it.

  • jay

    I thought Snow White’s effects were simply amazing. I hope it gets in.

  • phantom

    1. The Hobbit
    2. The Dark Knight Rises
    3. Life of Pi
    4. The Avengers
    5. Skyfall

    As much as I enjoyed The Avengers and Skyfall, I REALLY hope Cloud Atlas will knock out one of them. As for the win, unless Life if Pi emerges as a VERY serious BP-contender (top3), it will go to ‘The Hobbit’.

  • PJ

    boo hiss, I wanted the Impossible to get in but i guess i have to go back to the Prometheus well again.

  • Maxim

    I’d be very very cool if someone could shed some light on this:

    Seeing as how The Hobbit only just premiered, is it safe to assume that it remained in the running for a nomination in this category before AMPAS got a chance to view the finished film?

  • Yeah, although I haven’t seen The Impossible yet, I’m miffed at its exclusion. Hereafter was fucking nominated for its shitty tidal wave scene. The reports I’ve been reading suggest that The Impossible’s VFX are superb.

  • Maxim, I’m not sure how the shortlist is decided upon. However, each of these films will now present showcases of their visual effects and the creation process before the visual effects branch. Perhaps a similar process was used to determine which films would make the shortlist. Or maybe The Hobbit was ready before the premiere, and the Academy had a chance to view it.

    P.S. Snow White and the Huntsman. Some lovely VFX. The scene with the deer in the forest, though, ripping disgracefully from Princess Mononoke, was laughable. The VFX in that one scene were dreadful.

  • Maxim

    Yes, Paddy. I really was putting stress on the finished product here. Call me old-fashioed but I think these things are better decided in context.

    I don’t doubt the Hobbit will be nominated. I just was interested in knowing if the reputation alone was enough to get it in.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I really don’t think that The Hobbit can win this – even if it was the best. It has the “there will be two more coming up shortly” -factor. Not with these fellow nominees, because however you place the five out of these ten hopefuls, they will all be worthy.

    It very much looks like Life of Pi will get it as a consolation prize for not winning the biggies, despite its multiple nominations.

  • keifer

    Hands down, my vote for an assured nomination and the WIN:

    “Snow White and the Huntsman”

    The movie contained simply outstanding, jaw-dropping visual effects.

    I especially loved the scene where Charlize Theron disintegrates into a huge flock of black crows (reminiscent of and a tip-of-the-hat to Hitchcock’s “The Birds”).

  • Jesus Alonso

    Seriously, these guys haven’t seen The Impossible yet. I see a couple of way worse contenders making the cut…

  • Joseph

    Yeah – saw The Impossible at TIFF. It’s an omission for sure.

  • Maxim


    That made me think of Maddona’s ‘Frozen’ video from the late 90s.

  • Dion Blackler

    I was hoping for a Rust and Bone nomination. Subtle but really impressive and effective VFX.

  • Alex

    Rooting for Cloud Atlas. Film deserves a few noms at least.

  • The Avengers
    Life of Pi (for the win)
    The Hobbit… All for sure
    2 out of 3 for Cloud Atlas, TDKR or Prometheus, the latter would be robbed if it doesn’t get in.

  • PaulH

    Sometimes a headline can tell it all, via the Huffington Post; “Oscar Visual Effects Finalists: ‘The Avengers,’ ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ Among Possible Nominees.

    “‘The Hunger Games’ Snubbed”


  • Nick K.

    If there are three nominees, I think the nominees will be

    Cloud Atlas
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    Life of Pi

    If there’s room for two more, they’ll probably be The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. Though how funny would it be if John Carter surprised everyone by getting a nomination?

  • John

    My nominees would be Avwengers, Dark Knight Rises, John Carter, Prometheus, and Man on a Ledge.

    Yeah, there’s always one “practical” FX movie that I’m pulling for which never gets in. This category is always about CGI, when they forget that FX can be done in the practical sense (well, actually, the best stuff in INCEPTION was done in camera, so they aren’t total slaves to CGI.

    But this year, we hd a movie in which the main character spent the bulk of the movie hanging from a ledge 20 stories above the ground. Some of this was done on a stage, and some of it was done by building the set on top of a building several stories up in NYC. We have chases and gunfights while dangling 200 ft from the ground. I dont; know how they did it, but this aspect of the movie actaully wowed me a lot more than many of these other contenders.

    I agree that hte effects in SNOW WHITE were wonderful, but the thing that rally bugged me was using VFX to turn life-sized actors into dwarves. It would be like using VFX to turn Caucasian actors into other races… (haven;t seem Cloud Atlas yet!) That bugged me so much in SNOW WHITE that it really detracted from what was otherwise a sensational fantasy epic a la LADYHAWKE or EXCALIBUR.

    THE AVENGERS gets my vote. The most “wondrous” movie of the year.

  • Reno

    “The Dark Knight Rises”
    “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
    “John Carter”
    “Life of Pi”
    “Marvel’s The Avengers”

  • Dan

    The Hobbit will win this, no question. It will be too big of a visual effects achievement to ignore.

  • PaulH

    Who at Disney has compromising photos of AMPAS members doing very naughty things to have John Carter make the final cut? John Carter? One of history’s biggest egg-layers? The Mars Needs Moms of 2012? A sure fire Razzie contender?

  • Casey

    Prometheus PLEASE PLEASE

  • As long as Life of Pi gets nominated and wins, I’m happy. Other nominations that would be most deserving: The Avengers, Prometheus, and, dare I say, Snow White. Fifth nominee?

    Haven’t seen: Hobbit, John Carter, Skyfall

  • Geremy

    1. Marvel’s The Avengers
    2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    3. Life of Pi
    4. Cloud Atlas
    5. The Dark Knight Rises

    Seems like no matter how you cut it this year the award is a consolation prize and apology for not having multiple BP Oscars in a year that clearly deserves it.
    I’m hoping the Avengers can pull through and take it home, though any film they give it to will more than deserve it. It’s just that kind of a year.

  • murtaza

    doesn’t make any difference if there will be two more installments coming out of THE HOBBIT, lord of the rings won three years consecutively in this category and THE HOBBIT is destined to win technical awards this year. Its visuals are completely out of this world, Peter Jackson has brought another revolution in the world of film making with THE HOBBIT.
    Too big to ignore.

  • I’m not sure if Paul understands. This is not a category for the best film to extensively use VFX. This is a film for the best VFX in a film. Who gives a shit if John Carter was a bomb? The VFX were imaginative and very well executed. The Hunger Games’ VFX were far inferior. It’s not a snub.

  • steve50

    Watched John Carter just the other night and it defintely SHOULD be nominated for FX, along with Pi and Cloud Atlas. Because it was a BO bomb, they’ll probably ignore it in favor of one of the more $$ successful films.

    Used to be, this category was loaded with not very good films because they looked at the tech achievement on its own merits, which is as it should be. Now its treated as an accessory coveted by blockbusters, which diminishes the award imo.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Not sure how much BO has weight here, but nowadays a good film has a better chance over bad film. I think the category has become very competitive with CGI’s evolution that they can choose more. Plus they go with five, for a long time they chose three nominees here.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    And the winner – when chosen by everybody and not VFX guys – will be a popular one unless it’s already “sweepable”. This could become a consolation prize, more and more.

    I never saw The Hunger Games entering this category, PaulH. In fact, I don’t think it will be nominated for anything, but it may have a slight chance in sound, but it’s not looking good either. So, throw that film away from Oscar race, and you don’t have to be disappointed. Because except for TDKR’s few possibilities, you will be. The Avengers may get a couple, too.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    “Sweepable” is like “fuckable”, but with more orgasms.

  • PaulH

    “Seems like no matter how you cut it this year the award is a consolation prize and apology for not having multiple BP Oscars in a year that clearly deserves it.
    “I’m hoping the Avengers can pull through and take it home, though any film they give it to will more than deserve it. It’s just that kind of a year.”
    Geremy, yes, things haven’t turned out as much as I hoped it would. I foresaw the 2012 awards season to be a battle between the indies/arthouse crowd and the intelligent blockbusters which were embraced by fans and critics alike. The latter would be led by the trio of Hunger Games, Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. #13, #7 and #3, respectively on the all-time domestic list. Mid to high 80’s on RT. The balance that I ask for with any potential BP winner.
    But it was never a fair fight to begin with, and now, at 10:30AM today, the 3 films that were the straw that stirred the drink at the boxoffice, making almost $1.5b US alone between them, may be almost completely shut out at the Oscars. While boxoffice bombs like Cloud Atlas, The Master, Beasts of the Southern Wild and Middle of Nowhere are judged at a lower standard, thus, giving them an easier path to nomination. 🙁 That’s just honked up.

  • JamDenTel

    Prometheus for Visual Effects. Cloud Atlas for Makeup.

  • Maxim


    Relax :). Why the venom? John Carter may have been extremely expensive but it still made over $282 million. That, by itself is a sizeble audience. Razzies have no merit in and of themselves but regardless, with a 51% RT rating the film was hardly one of the year’s worst reviewed.

    Its presence in the shortlist isn’t that suprising in the slightest.

  • Maxim

    PaulH, you’ve got some seriously strange thinking going on.

    First of all, to many people a film like Cloud Atlas may be as intelligent or more so than other films you mentioned. Sometimes divisive films still manage some of the strongest reviews from some critics. So don’t always put so much emphasis on so-called consensus. It’s just one dimension.

    Sencondary, calling Beasts of the Southern Wild or Middle of Nowhere box office bombs is just plain wrong. There is something extremely dbaggery about your comments about films that were never on the level playing field to begin with suddenly becoming benefactors of lower rstandards. How do you know that? Maybe people consider them because they like them? Especially considering their reviews.

    And stop pretending like alarge portion of Oscar frontrunners this year isn’t embraced by fans and critics alike. That’s quite the opposite. Sorry, if you there aren’t as many blockbusters in the mix as you were hoping though.

    Really at this point, I fully want to see you make a case for VFX in Hunger Games to know why you think they were snubbed. Describe what imressed YOU about them without bringing up box office. That is something everyone would respect.

    Otherwise, I simply don’t understand where you are coming from with that at all.

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    {would like to|want to|would love to} {know|learn|find out} where you got this from or {what the|exactly what the|just what the} theme {is called|is named}.
    {Thanks|Many thanks|Thank you|Cheers|Appreciate it|Kudos}!|
    {Hi there|Hello there|Howdy}! This {post|article|blog post} {couldn’t|could not} be written {any better|much better}!
    {Reading through|Looking at|Going through|Looking through} this {post|article} reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He {always|constantly|continually} kept {talking about|preaching about} this.

    {I will|I’ll|I am going to|I most certainly will} {forward|send} {this article|this information|this
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    {Wow|Whoa|Incredible|Amazing}! This blog looks {exactly|just} like my old one!
    It’s on a {completely|entirely|totally} different
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    {You made|You’ve made|You have made} some {decent|good|really good} points there.

    I {looked|checked} {on the internet|on the web|on the net} {for more info|for more
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    Your {story-telling|writing|humoristic} style is {awesome|witty},
    keep {doing what you’re doing|up the good work|it up}!|
    I {simply|just} {could not|couldn’t} {leave|depart|go away} your {site|web site|website} {prior to|before} suggesting that I {really|extremely|actually} {enjoyed|loved} {the standard|the usual} {information|info}
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    I {definitely|certainly|absolutely} {enjoyed|loved} every {little bit of|bit of}
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    Keep on posting!|
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    moved|{was|was actually} excited} enough to {drop|{leave|drop|{write|create}}|post} a {thought|{comment|{comment|leave a response}a response}} {:-P|:)|;
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    I {like|wanted} to write a little comment to support you.|
    I {always|constantly|every time} spent my half an hour to read this {blog|weblog|webpage|website|web site}’s {articles|posts|articles or reviews|content} {everyday|daily|every
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    My {coder|programmer|developer} is trying to {persuade|convince} me to move to
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    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using {Movable-type|WordPress} on
    {a number of|a variety of|numerous|several|various} websites for about a year and am {nervous|anxious|worried|concerned} about switching to another platform.
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    {Hello|Hi|Hello there|Hi there|Howdy|Good day}! I could have sworn I’ve
    {been to|visited} {this blog|this web site|this website|this site|your blog} before
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    I {amazed|surprised} with the {research|analysis} you made to
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    {Great|Wonderful|Fantastic|Magnificent|Excellent} {task|process|activity|job}!|
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    Your {way|method|means|mode} of {describing|explaining|telling} {everything|all|the whole thing} in this {article|post|piece of writing|paragraph} is {really|actually|in fact|truly|genuinely} {nice|pleasant|good|fastidious}, {all|every one} {can|be able to|be capable of} {easily|without difficulty|effortlessly|simply} {understand|know|be aware of} it, Thanks
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    {Hi|Hello} there, {I found|I discovered} your {blog|website|web site|site} {by
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    {A lot of|Lots of|Many|Numerous} {other folks|folks|other people|people} {will be|shall be|might be|will probably be|can be|will likely be} benefited {from your|out of your} writing.
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    {Hi|Hello}, Neat post. {There is|There’s} {a problem|an issue} {with your|together with your|along with your}
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    {I’m|I am} not sure where {you are|you’re} getting your {info|information}, but {good|great} topic.

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    Thanks for {great|wonderful|fantastic|magnificent|excellent} {information|info} I
    was looking for this {information|info} for my mission.|
    {Hi|Hello}, i think that i saw you visited my {blog|weblog|website|web site|site} {so|thus} i came to
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