Oscar Circuit: Best Visual Effects

The effects of ‘Gravity,’ ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,’ ‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘The Lone Ranger,’ and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ face off…


Our look at the individual Oscar categories continue.  If you missed a piece, click on the tag titled Oscar Circuit 2014.  You can also see the official Oscar Predictions page for Visual Effects HERE.

And the Nominees are…

  • Gravity – Timothy Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, and Neil Corbould
    OSCAR SCENE: The opening sequence
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, and Eric Reynolds
    OSCAR SCENE: The river escape
  • Iron Man 3 – Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, and Daniel Sudick
    OSCAR SCENE: The Air Force One rescue
  • The Lone Ranger – Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, and John Frazier
    OSCAR SCENE: The train fight climax
  • Star Trek Into Darkness – Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Ben Grossmann, and Burt Dalton
    OSCAR SCENE: The Enterprise rises from the sea

A category more often filled with summer blockbusters than prestige fare, it’s not every day that the Best Visual Effects field has a Best Picture nominee contained within it, even if that happened last year as well. That alone makes it one of the more interesting categories this year, but it’s hardly the only reason for that. Many of the other tech categories are harder for laymen to comprehend and as such feel a bit on the exclusionary side (Sound Editing or Sound Mixing, for example are two that many can struggle to understand, even those in our field), whereas this category is a lot simpler to wrap your head around. This year happens to have a bit of a mix between high octane and low key contenders, which I find unique and pleasing, even if they’re not the films that I would have nominated. Of the five nominees, it seems like more or less a done deal in terms of who’s the major frontrunner. What about the movies seeking to pull an upset, you ask? Well, let’s dive right in now and find out!

First off, a bit of history for everyone, as I like to do for the Oscar Circuit pieces each year. The last ten winners in this category have been Life of Pi, Hugo, Inception, Avatar, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Golden Compass, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, King Kong, Spider-Man 2, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. There’s not a whole lot you can really take from this, but I’d say that it shows a little bit of the taste that the voters have in the category. Last year could be a clue as to how Best Picture contenders have a leg up, but I think that this category is pretty easy to figure out, even without that extra bit of information. 

What do you think?

72 points
Film Lover

Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.


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