Oscar Predictions

10 Films Make the 2014 Oscars Best Visual Effects Shortlist

I can't see Gravity not taking this

2014 Oscar Predictions: Best Visual Effects
Sandra Bullock in Gravity
Photo: Warner Bros.

The Academy has announced the ten films that made their final shortlist for the Best Visual Effects category at the 2014 Oscars and I can't say this category ever really surprises me with what's in versus what's out, but to see films such as Man of Steel, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Oz the Great and Powerful not make the cut does make you wonder just what exactly does it mean to have the "best" visual effects.

Here's the ten that will compete for the five nominees, which will be determined after all members of the Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Thursday, January 9, 2014. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

  • Elysium
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Oblivion
  • Pacific Rim
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • World War Z

I have updated my predictions for the category following the announcement and my top five didn't really change other than to have films move up one slot as The Great Gatsby was previously in my top five but is no not eligible:

  1. Gravity
  2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  3. Pacific Rim
  4. Oblivion
  5. Iron Man 3

I really don't think there is any chance Gravity doesn't win this category, but if you're up to making an argument for another film I'm all ears.

Oscars nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT.

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  • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

    Who makes these shortlists? Very surprised to not see Oz: The Great and Powerful. Thought those visuals were fantastic.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

    How is The Great Gatsby not on this list?

    • http://12angrycinephiles.wordpress.com The Caker Baker

      because The Great Gatsby looked like shit.

  • http://jakesaysstuff.blogspot.com jake_w

    All Is Lost did not make the list but Hereafter did a few years ago?

    • http://imqwerty.wordpress.com/ Jordan B.

      I do have to say, there was one scene in particular in All Is Lost that completely warrants it not making the shortlist IMO (and I should add, I really liked the film overall): I can't say for sure now exactly when it occurs, but it's a scene where Our Man (Redford) is sailing through very rough tides during a very dangerous, ominous-looking storm, and Our Man is shown in relative close-up with the rough seas as the backdrop -- the shot looks absolutely, utterly fake, and again, while I love the movie as a whole, that shot stood with me for a while. I'm not sure if it was bad lighting or poor effects or what, but that one just didn't sit right in my mind.

      • Matt P

        I know exactly what you are talking about. I thought the same thing. I became aware of the visual effects when he was up on the mast and there was a lightning strike within the storm. Looked like effects from Twister (1996).

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Elijah/ Elijah

        Alright thank you I thought I was going crazy for a bit, wasn't impressed by the green screen but I'll cut it slack based on the $8.5 mil budget. Sound editing was fabulous so I hope it gets a nom there

        • http://imqwerty.wordpress.com/ Jordan B.

          Yes, for its budget they aren't bad, but it certainly wasn't impressive. The sound on the other hand is a different story -- if it gets snubbed there, all really is lost.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JNFilms/ JN Films


  • http://cineenuruguay.com/ Driver

    I know Gravity will win but... How can they leave Mr. Gatsby out of the party?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Hudsucker/ Hudsucker

    The Lone Ranger? Really? Oh well....

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/EPayneDDS/ EPayneDDS

    Mother F'in Great Gatsby!!! Come on!

  • http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/ RagingTaxiDriver

    Wow. Shocker, Gravity? No way! I never would have thought.

  • http://cinematicsystematic.blogspot.com thefutureofhollywood

    Say what you will about MAN OF STEEL, but those visuals were freakin' incredible.

  • Bertram J. Krogh

    I am surprised too, as The Great Gatsby definitely had some of the most gorgeous visuals this year. And the only redeeming quality about Oz: The Great and Powerful was its visual imagery.

    Nothing we can do about it, though :P

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/andyluvsfilms/ andyluvsfilms

    I was really impressed with the effects on Elysium, very realistic for a change, in fact the film was much better than what i was expecting. Apart from the Kruger character. Bad.

  • adu

    Are you serious? Oz has some of the worst CGI I've seen for a movie with that kind of budget...glad it was excluded.

  • yrabadi

    Brad, if Pacific Rim wins this one, you create a Pacific Rim skin for ROS, deal? ;)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/navaneethks/ navaneethks

    The Great Gatsby should've been on that list especially over World War Z or The Lone Ranger.

    But Gravity all the way. No chance it's not winning.

  • RohanMM

    Oblivion all the way.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/juanperezcarlos/ Carlos

    Hunger Games: Catching Fire, anyone?

    • Devilrose


  • GobleGableOneOfUs

    They should give it to Before Midnight just to show Cuaron's reaction.

  • Gmoney 6990

    How is man of steel not on this, that film looked amazing. Revenge of the Fallen got nominate but to man of steel or gatsby

  • http://kaisaccofilm.tumblr.com/ Kai Sacco

    The visual effects in Gatsby are quite cheesy. I don't know why everyone is making a big fuss about it not being on the list.