‘Interstellar,’ ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ on Oscars shortlist for Best Visual Effects

Ten films have made the cut with the academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee. Now, all visual effects branch members will have the opportunity to view 10-minute excerpts from these shortlisted works on Jan. 10 to determine the five films that make the Oscar ballot.

Even though this category used to belong to summer blockbusters, 10 of the last 14 Visual Effects Oscars have gone to a Best Picture nominee, including the last six in a row: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Avatar,” “Inception,” “Hugo,” “Life of Pi” and “Gravity.” 

That is great news for “Interstellar,” Christopher Nolan‘s technologically audacious thriller about space travel. It is the overwhelming frontrunner in this race

The comic book crime fighters still in the running are: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,”    “Guardians of the Galaxy” and  “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” However, no comic book movie has won Best Visual Effects since “Spider-Man 2” in 2004. Indeed, it’s the only such film to win this race competitively. “Superman” won a Special Achievement Award for its effects in 1978.

Peter Jackson‘s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” is a good bet to make the final five. After all, each of the three “Lord of the Rings” films won this category, and the first two parts of his “Hobbit” trilogy contended. 

Battling robots have also done well in this category in recent years, with “Real Steel” and all three “Iron Man” movies reaping bids. The first two “Transformer” films did, which bodes well for   “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

Godzilla” overcame bad buzz to do well worldwide. The other three films in the bake-off are: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “Maleficent” and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”

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