The Academy's 15 Movies Chosen for the Visual Effects Shortlist

December 13, 2010
Source: indieWIRE

Tron Legacy

Last years Visual Effects Oscar went to Avatar, but which film will take home the high tech golden statuette this year? This past week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced (via indieWIRE) the fifteen films that they have selected as "semifinalists" for the category of Achievement in Visual Effects for the upcoming 83rd Academy Awards. If you remember, this past summer they increased the number of nominees in this category from three to five, so there are plenty to choose from this year. The fifteen movies considered are listed below, and as expected all of them except for a select few are very effects heavy flicks.

» Alice in Wonderland
» The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader
» Clash of the Titans
» Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
» Hereafter
» Inception
» Iron Man 2
» The Last Airbender
» Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
» Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
» Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
» Shutter Island
» The Sorcerer's Apprentice
» Tron Legacy
» Unstoppable

Come early January, these fifteen semifinalists will be narrowed down to list of just seven films. On January 20th, the members of the VFX branch of the Academy will screen 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven films. After these screenings the final five nominations will be announced on January 25th at 5:30AM (we'll definitely bring you coverage). The two big surprises to me are Shutter Island and Unstoppable. Two films that I see making it to the list of seven, but not necessarily the final five are Iron Man 2 and The Sorcerer's Apprentice, both of which have very well done effects, but will probably be edged out by the other five films.

The films I do see making it to the final five nominations are:

Inception – A visually astounding film that envelops you within its dream landscape. I can already see Inception taking home some other Oscars, beyond just visual effects, or so we hope.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World – The entire film from start to finish uses visual effects to not only enhance the storytelling but make Scott Pilgrim’s world visually exciting as well, and it deserves the attention.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader – From the trailer, I can already tell the film will be filled with the same magical images and fantastical effects we've come to expect from this series.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – As the penultimate film in the series, it certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to some truly amazing VFX, the seven Potters scene being the standout to me.

Tron Legacy – The sequel to the 1982 film looks to set some VFX benchmarks of its own, as it not only looks visually breathtaking, it might jut be the film 3D was intended for as well.

The winners of the 83rd Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 27th, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre and televised live by ABC. We'll continue to follow and provide updates on awards news until then!

Find more posts: Awards, Movie News, Opinions



shutter island? the visual effects in that film I thought were what hurt it and brought it out of being "lost in a good movie" although the ash wife scene was very well done.

Zak on Dec 13, 2010


I'm for Inception, Deathly Hallows pt 1, maybe Tron gotta see it first and Scott Pilgrim.

Xerxex on Dec 13, 2010


My five picks would be Tron, Inception, Harry Potter, Iron Man 2 and Scott Pilgram. Tron for the win!

Day on Dec 13, 2010


Inception, Scott Pilgrim and Tron Legacy are my top picks. Everyone else, meh.

Cruzer on Dec 13, 2010


tron legacy for the win 😀

DaftPUNKFAN on Dec 13, 2010


#4 nailed it. The other 12 aren't even close...

Chris W on Dec 13, 2010


Inception and Scott Pilgrim Def. Inception Is Gonna Take Home A Lot Of Oscars. Chris Nolan For Best Director? I Think So

NafiisW on Dec 13, 2010


I really hope it goes to Scott Pilgrim, as a VFX Supervisor and fan of the comic and the film, this really deserves the win, especially as an FX heavy film on a moderate budget. However, not that it should win, but I'm interested in seeing the VFX breakdowns on Unstoppable, whatever FX there were, they were seamless.

LINKFX on Dec 13, 2010


SCOTT PILGRIM!!!! Its by far the best visual effects film off the year as it's all original effects

Alex Morrison on Dec 13, 2010


No Social Network? Thats a shame. I thought it had some of the best dual role effects of any film ever.

John.E on Dec 13, 2010


I am with John E, only film fans would know that one of the Archie Hammer's was actually somebody else. As a special effect it was amazing. If you could vote for 1 effect of the year, it would be that. But as a whole film, I guess you'd have to go with Tron, Inception, Scott Pilgrim and Harry Potter 7.1. Also, maybe it was me, but I found some of the effects in the Socerer's Apprentice to be quite outstanding.

Ben on Dec 13, 2010


Social Network should be up there. Special effects so special, you don't even know they're special effects. And even though neither of these films were hits at the box-office, I think its a shame that Splice and Daybreakers aren't on the short list.

Adam on Dec 13, 2010


i garee #12, daybreakers had some cool shots there. but, yeah, tron, scott pilgrim, inception. nothing else even deserves to be a contender. harry potter, i supose. though they should wait for the second film and nominate that instead.

crumb on Dec 14, 2010


Inception should win this. I did not like the movie but the effects were amazing. Something original instead of the generic dragons, lightning and other common BS that does not look real a tiniest little bit.

Shige on Dec 14, 2010


I agree with all the above except... "Unstoppable" ; No really???? loll I also agree with your nominations but not scott pilgrim.. come on! Prince of Persia was so much better Anyway, Inception will win this as well as many other statues for Team Nolan! Long overdue his statuettes

I am... on Dec 14, 2010


On your list, they'll change Harry Potter with Alice in Wonderland. HP had no significant SFX

Ricardo on Dec 14, 2010


Real talk, no one has mentioned The Sorcerer's Apprentice. Not a great movie, but the special effects were pretty damn good...

Flaco on Dec 14, 2010


lmao imagine the last airbender is nominated for an oscar

abcdefg on Dec 14, 2010


started watching the first 5 minutes, it made my dick itch, so i shut it off. thank god it was a borrowed movie so i didnt have to pay for it and i only lost 5 minutes of my life which i would still like to have back MR. M Night Shalamalama ding dong what a way to ruin a great potential movie franchise

RICH on Dec 14, 2010

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