Visual Effects Contenders Down to Ten

  • “Captain America: The First Avenger”
  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
  • “Hugo”
  • “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”
  • “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”
  • “Real Steel”
  • “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
  • “The Tree of Life”
  • “X-Men: First Class”

Hugo among them! Rise of the Planet of the Apes! Harry Potter! The Tree of Life!

57 Comments on this Post

  1. No Super 8? WTF?!

  2. This category will be defined by Harry Potter OR Apes…. there’s no one else

  3. Hmm, I’m guessing it will be like this:

    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
    “Hugo”
    “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
    “X-Men: First Class” or “The Tree of Life”

  4. joeyhegele

    Can The Tree Of Life and Hugo go all the way? I sure hope so!!! The Oscar nomination for F/X should not always be about the biggest like Transformers, but the best use in the film.

    The Tree Of Life, Hugo, Harry Potter, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes all used special effects to support their story rather than have the story be an excuse to show off a bunch of expensive explosions and CGI.

  5. No Super 8? Madness!
    But pretty good list overall… I’d love to see a Malick film and a Bay movie nominated together.

  6. himynameiscole

    this should be rise of the planet of the apes’ to lose.

  7. Let’s hope it will be

    1. Harry Potter
    2. Hugo
    3. The Tree of Life

    and if there are 5 nominees

    4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    5. Ghost Protocol OR First Class OR Captain America

    Ok, it would have been easier to say that I don’t want Transformers III going down in history as an Oscar-nominee and even if the film wasn’t bad, I would still not think it should get a visual effects nod over my top5+2, those achievements were simply more impressive in my opinion.
    For example, I didn’t like Pirates IV, either, but I do think the visual effects were stunning there, definitely better than the ones in ‘Transformers’ which is basically all about exploding cars. The effects in ‘Real Steel’ were just meh for me but it’s subjective, I know.

  8. Of course HP:DH 2 would be nominated in this category, I mean is that what the Academy or critics only think of it? Just down understand why this movie according the Academy has no Oscar potential for Best Picture…I mean what about all the hard work it did for breaking alot of box office records, having universal critical acclaim, you know like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Avatar.

  9. J.-C. B.

    On the bright side : Cowboys & Aliens is out. Ouf ! And to think that this clunker was even considered for any kind of award…

  10. Skyscraper scene ALONE is > anything else in any film

  11. Rashad

    They won’t give the win to transformers if Potter, Hugo, Apes, or TOL is nominated as well. It’s all politics.

  12. Gee, where is “Bridesmaids?”

  13. The Great Dane

    Patryk: Best comment of the month! Love it, haha!

  14. Sasha Stone

    this should be rise of the planet of the apes’ to lose.

    Agreed.

  15. Bruce Bogtrotter

    Im gonna laugh if tree of life doesn’t make it.

  16. Daveylow

    I would love it if Transformers got snubbed but that won’t happen.

  17. No Thor or Super 8, but otherwise this is rather how I expected it to be.

    I hope Rise of the Planet of the Apes wins this. If it doesn’t, I know it’s a long shot, but it’d be lovely to see either Hugo or The Tree of Life win. I would like to think that the Academy recognises that good visual effects are not just about being realistic and plentiful in a film, they’re also about the artistry. The Tree of Life has some of the most artful visual effects I’ve seen. I mean, they wouldn’t nominate a film for Best Costume Design if it had a lot of well-made costumes – it’s about the design as much as the craft.

  18. Nothing, absolutely nothing that I’ve seen tops this year Captain America’s visual effects on young Steve Rogers… it wasn’t a cut and paste, Chris Evans body was morphed to shrink and it appears 100% believable to the human body.

    Having said that, I still have yet to see Hugo, The Tree of Life, Mission Impossible and Real Steel… but I’ve seen all the other contenders and certainly I don’t miss Super 8 at all… actually, happy it didn’t make the cut.

    Miss Thor, though, I mean… ASGARD. THE BRIDGE. Wow.

    My ballot (out of these) would be…

    1. Captain America
    2. Harry Potter
    3. Apes
    4. Transformers

    if I couldn’t vote for Thor… I wouldn’t vote for an inferior achievement.

  19. I thought the work on skinny Steve Rogers was average at best. There are moments where it just looked wrong. Unrealistic.

  20. Harry Potter is going to get screwed. You know why? I just noticed something on the Awards calendar. When BAFTA (which I am sure it will) embraces Harry Potter with a bushelful of nominations, it won’t matter.

    The nomination deadline for AMPAS membership is four days BEFORE the BAFTA nominations are announced, thus deadening any impact whatsoever BAFTA may have on the AMPAS membership. Frankly, I think that sucks. BAFTA has always had an influence on AMPAS voting in the last decade or so – but this year that won’t happen.

  21. @ Keifer

    That happens most years anyway. It neither helps nor hurts Potter.

  22. steve50

    It would be nice to see Apes take this, with Hugo and Tree as co-nominees. Should be based on importance to the story adn believability, not semi-animated, clanking, metal mutations and super-size-me explosions. Of course, like costume design, Ampas thinks more is better.

  23. @Keifer and to think it’s the only british film that did excellently successful work not only in the domestic box office but in the international box office.

  24. Keifer

    I wouldn’t worry about that, HP doesn’t need Academy-voters under the influence of BAFTA-word, it needs Academy-voters who are ALSO Bafta-voters…so if it will be embraced by BAFTA, it needs the same votes in the Academy, too.

  25. Mattenroe

    If Apes doesn’t walk this, I’ll be very surprised.

  26. Phantom – you raise some good points. It certainly depends on how many BAFTA members are also Academy members – and that’s rather hard to determine without seeing the membership lists . . which I feel should be made public anyway. Why the secrecy?

    I think the HP film would stand a better chance of being nominated, however, if the AMPAS nomination deadline had been extended so as to give a clear message to AMPAS that BAFTA is behind this film . . . as I’m sure BAFTA will embrace HP; if they don’t, I will be hugely surprised.

  27. From this list, only Mission Impossible (more of a stunts work, not visual effects… there should be a category for stunt ensemble) and Pirates are possibly out.

    Potter, Apes and Hugo are locked. TOL is either unfortunatelly because I find nothing impressive about the visual effects. I could see them turning my TV on National Geographic or Discovery Channel. Its cinematography is remarkable, not the visual effects. But they will give this nomination for the film. As they seem to like it, I say Tree of Life is in.

    The last spot could go to any of the 4. I think it will be either Captain America or Transformers.

  28. I read a post here in AD some days ago about the evolution of the BP nominees and the Box Office, I think so, and one thing that I find really interesting is how the dynamics of the race changed when the Oscars came to february. With all this awards so close, it’s almost impossible that BIG surprises happen out of nowhere. Potter will get nominated for a couple of tecs (V.E., maybe Art Direction, Sound, Score, Cinemagtography) but will miss big awards. And the ratings are definitely gonna be. This is one of the most locked things in this awards season along with Christopher Plummer winning. The ratings are gonna bomb and if the Tree of Life gets shut of the main categories and a film like Bridesmaids gets in, the critics are also gonna bomb themselves.

  29. Jake G.!

    I’m surprised the Academy didn’t nominate The Artist in this category, they are gonna nominate it in every other category, might as well just give it a visual effects nod because its “The Artist”. Its a shame everyone is praising that film so much!

  30. Tero Heikkinen

    TTOL is not going to win anyway. Academy never chooses effects that are realistic. They choose something where you know that they were created =showier.

  31. I’m sure that if it was a Nat Geo-kind doc about the Big Bang with the same Visual Effect Tree of Life has it would not be nominated here. But Tree of Life will.

  32. First off, @ JP, stunt ensemble or stunt coordination should ABSOLUTELY be a category at AMPAS. A few years ago I heard a lot of chatter by actors talking about that (I didn’t hear it myself, you know what I mean) and I was a little disappointed that Christian Bale didn’t say anything during his speech last year.

    I’d say it’s certainly Rise of the Apes’s to lose and Tree of Life and Hugo almost certainly in as nominees. If they do five again, (Does anybody know?) HP8 should be in (7 was in, why wouldn’t 8 be in?) for the 5th I’d say Pirates 4.

    1. Rise of the Apes
    2. Tree of Life
    3. Hugo

    4. HP8
    5. On Stranger Tides

    That fifth spot could go to anything above, I feel like the members of the Effects branch know what to look for better than me and maybe they were impressed by Steve Rogers and Red Skull or the Dust Storm in MI:4 or whatever effects were in X-Men: First Class. I honestly don’t remember anything remarkable it was a seamless movie to me that I thoroughly enjoyed but I can’t remember any of the effects blowing me away.

  33. Tero Heikkinen

    Apes will win this – hands down.

  34. Tero, Tree of Life will get nominated because those kind of effects have strong supporters. I’m positive that there are a subset of voters in the Effects Branch that are bored by ‘showy’ effects and would rather celebrate subtler films.

  35. Tero Heikkinen

    Dude, I know it will be nominated – but Apes will WIN it.

  36. Agree

  37. @JP would it also bomb if a billion dollar film wasn’t nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars?

  38. Again I ask, “Where is Bridesmaids?”

  39. @ OCO300

    It will bomb exactly because there is no real blockbuster in this category. The change of the Oscar date to february in 2004 changed dramatically the dynamics of this race. It was only possible to feel the effects in 2005 (because in 2004 there was a film called Return of the King). With the Oscars in february, there is not so many time for the public in general to watch all the films and make up their minds about their preferences. With all those awards coming in a very small period of time, BIG surprises are tough to happen. Remember the Oscars of 2003: Polanski, Brody… and like Sasha said in another post the adults are not going to the theaters the way they used to. HBO-effect is one of the reasons.

    The Oscars of 2004 pretty much prove that a big blockbuster saves the ratings. This years Oscars were the most boring ever for me and there was not a single real surprise. It was probably the most predictable Oscars ever. And the ratings were pretty good. The reason: LOTR. The same happened when Titanic won 11 in 1997. One of the biggest ratings ever and no major surprise. The Dark Knight in 2009 didn’t get BP nod but the expectation to the Ledger award and the fact that it was probably one of the most raved ceremonies ever (Hugh Jackman was the best host I have ever seen). In 2010, the ceremony was not really good compared to 2009 (Martin and Baldwin didn’t work as hosts) but Avatar still avoided the ratings to go down more than they actually did. Slumdog, in 2009, was definitely popular (one film I watched lots of times) but it was not the reasons for the ratings to jump in comparison to 2008. The reasons were Ledger and H. Jackman.

    Nobody is turning out to figure out what happens in the Oscars to a film like The Help. It is a blockbuster but not a real one. Just like Juno.

    The only thing that could possibly make this Oscars not having the lowest ratings ever is a a situation in which the 3 acting awards (actor, actress and sup. actress) continue to go with 3 possible winners each. And it would help if Hugo or Descendants got closer to The Artist.

  40. @JP good point, hey if it nominated HP:DH 2 for Best Picture at the Oscars would it not bomb?

  41. @Patryk Bridesmaids…seriously….for Vissual Effects?!

  42. Re: best pic/best visual f/x
    I could be wrong (and probably am since my source is wikipedia), but I think the only time in the last 50 years that a nominee in both categories lost for f/x was Patton.

    Wouldn’t this hurt Apes’ chances?

  43. @ OCO300

    Definitely not. Past history proves that. And a real blockbuster. Not a Bridesmaids or The Help. Or even one that was not a blockbuser but was a hit like Little Miss Sunshine. People don’t turn on the TV to watch this films at the Oscars. The bomb could be smaller if there is some kind os suspense on who will take the top categories but this is not the most important factor – the bombing of the Oscars of 2007 (best picture wide open: babel/departed/LMS.. and sup. actor arkin/murphy) and 2008 (actress between cotilard and christie and sup. actress between all of them except ronan) explain that. The difference is that in this year there are some actors america loves that will be up for the win: clooney, pitt, streep.

    the most important factor is a real blockbuster nominated: titanic, saving private ryan, sixth sense, LOTR trilogy… the only year that was an exception was the year of English Patient/Fargo, the indie year… but the Oscars were on march, HBO was not strong, people watched more TV then…

  44. If the Oscar were actually for “Best” (not the noisiest/most blatant, but that actually functions well to advance the plot in good movies), these would be the nominees.

    HP72 (self-explanatory)
    Hugo (from Marty)
    The Tree of Life (from the guy who did FX for 2001: A Space Odyssey)
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes (from WETA digital and Andy Serkis)
    MI – Ghost Protocol (the skyscraper scene alone is enough for the nomination)

    All other nominees, with the (somewhat) exception of XMFC, were simply not good, if not, standout movies. Just Calculated Blockbusters. Shame that Super 8 isn’t on the shortlist.

    Winner is most likely Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Surprised, but not gobsmacked if it’s HP72.

  45. Mattenroe

    Jake.G! – what!? Why the unneccessary hate in a thread about visual effects? Seems pointless, especially when you consider that the artist is THE best film of the year and wholly deserves all the acclaim it is receiving.

  46. Someone

    The only suprise: REAL STEEL over THOR. SUPER 8, SHERLOCK HOLMES, COWBOYS AND ALIENS and SUCKER PUNCH didn’t deserve to be nominated.

  47. Yahoo featured how Chris Evans’ body was morphed thin. The technique seems really fantastic, and in the future, for films like Machinist and Hunger, the actors need not emaciate themselves. Also, they don’t need to fatten up either for a role, like Russell Crowe did in Body of Lies. In Cpt America, however, Evans looked like a BOBBLHEAD the entire time he was thin, so this technique needs a lot of fine tuning.

    In the Tree of Life, the Plesiosaur basking on a beach looked really good. Ha. But seriously, it’s great that they recognize those spectacular nature shots as visual effects, coz taking it literally, all those VISUALS, supposedly, have profound EFFECTS on the viewers.

    My picks:
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
    Transformers: Dark of the Moon
    Hugo
    and only because the visual effects committee will be awed by the presentation regarding morphing, the 5th slot will go to Captain America: The First Avenger

  48. OCO for all our sakes, please, please let it go. HP is dead in the water, except maybe a few techs. Move on

  49. @Keifer
    Why do ou think Bafta’s are gonna love potter????
    Have they been kind to potter movies in the past NO, only two wins (one was audience movie) over 20 or so nominations, i’m no even sure it’s gonna get into bafta’s best film category……
    I don’t think in the tech categories would have matter too much, we all knew from like july that Art Direction and VFX were locked nominations, now, we’ll have too see if it can take any of these…….

    I’m not so sure planet of the apes is so amazing as evryone thinks it is…. when the monkey’s have close ups it’s amazing (but then again this technology was already used by avatar) but when the monkeys are lookd from further up they look awfully unrealistic… so i don’t know…. i think Hugo could be in the race too, remember that VFX it’s not always about the SPECTACULAR,

  50. HahaLives

    Rise of the Planet of the Apes is destined to lose this.

  51. Apes is overrated vfx-wise, in my opinion. It’s like just multiplying a refining a technique that Peter Jackson did already in King Kong (and Gollum).

    The only real “improvement” in vfx this year has been Captain America’s morphing, that even if not perfect, it’s an advance the guilds may like to reward. They do have an history on doing so: The Abyss, Babe, The Matrix all featured new techniques and all of them went on to win the award (in Babe’s case over the Best Picture favorite, Apollo XIII).

  52. that being said, I think the AMPAS is gonna go for either Potter or Apes (close race) and with Captain America – and no other – as dark horse. And also the chance that if Hugo gets nom’d for Picture and the others doesn’t, they throw a bone to Marty on this one, too.

  53. Elouise

    Dragon in Potter > everything else

  54. Arthur:

    Well, for starters, HPP2 is a BRITISH film. And its SUCCESSFUL. And it is BRILLIANTLY MOUNTED and BEAUTIFULLY MOVING. How can they NOT acknowledge it?

    Forget about the critics. BAFTA simply cannot ignore one of their own . . . especially given the commercial success, artistic production, and mass popularity of the film. The last HP was the best. I’m sure they’ll reward it with some tehnical nominations (cinematography, costumes, music score, art direction, film editing, visual effects, sound . . . perhaps director, screenplay and picture). I would be very surprised if they didn’t. If they don’t nominate it in a lot of categories, then it will be one of the larger snubs of the year (in my opinion).

  55. Hugo and Tree of Life should not be places higher that Potter’s visual. they were good, sure, but not that good. It’s a battle between Potter and Apes. I’ll go with Potter. The castle and the dragon alone, in my opinion, is worthy of a win.

  56. *should not be placed higher…

    Sorry, typo.

  57. Super 8 out :(

    The nominees will be:

    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″
    “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
    “The Tree of Life”
    “X-Men: First Class”

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