Oscars 2016: Best Visual Effects Longlist

The Academy announced their longlist for Best Visual Effects. There are 20 films on it. In the next ten to fourteen days, this list will be halved. And then half of that will be your category.

The fun part about a longlist is you can see what films are never going to make it on.

Here are the 20 films “competing” for Best Visual Effects:

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Captain America: Civil War
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Independence Day: Resurgence
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad
X-Men: Apocalypse


Well, what can I eliminate almost immediately…

Independence Day, Miss Peregrine, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Suicide Squad, Deadpool

Deadpool didn’t have enough money going into it and the effects weren’t as seamless as Ex Machina. So I doubt it. Suicide Squad, I doubt they’d go there, but maybe they shortlist it. I’m gonna assume no. Alice, I doubt it. I feel like most people forgot that movie even happened.

So right there, that’s 15.

Arrival feels like an easy shortlist. Jungle Book is for sure a shortlist. Doctor Strange seems likely (sight unseen. I have no idea what it looks like). Let’s figure a yes on Rogue One. And let’s say Passengers yes for shit’s sake, because I have no idea.

So now there’s ten films left. Five on, five off.

Star Trek was nominated both previous times. I feel confident in saying it won’t be nominatd this time. But I also don’t know if that means shortlist or not. That’s a 50/50.

Civil War seems like a likely shortlist, so let’s figure that to get on.

BFG is a 50/50. I could see it making the shortlist and also being ignored entirely.

Sully had small, but solid effects. Eastwood has made a shortlist before, with Hereafter. Don’t rule that out.

I know most people would look at Warcraft and go, “Seriously?” But I’m telling you — not only should you not underestimate that for a shortlist, but you shouldn’t underestimate that for a nomination. I’m serious about that, too.

Kubo looked gorgeous, but I doubt they’d nominate it. Which makes it questionable for the shortlist. If they love it, I could see them shortlisting it, but I also feel like it’s unlikely that happens.

Deepwater could go either way. Disaster movies usually fare well, so perhaps.

Batman v. Superman — not sure. Definitely over Suicide Squad. Maybe they shortlist it and ignore it. Not sure about this one. You’d think yes, but also… people really did not like this movie.

Fantastic Beasts seems likely just because of size and scope. I’d be surprised if this didn’t make at the very least a shortlist.

And X-Men — it’s never been nominated until Days of Future Past, so I don’t see this as being very likely at all. Could it make a shortlist? Sure. But I don’t think so, especially given how people thought of that movie and that the effects weren’t that memorable.

If I had to pick a shortlist right now, or what I think the shortlist will be, I’d say:

  • Arrival
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Doctor Strange
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • The Jungle Book
  • Passengers
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Sully
  • Warcraft

And then ranking the other 10 films as alternates:

11. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

12. Star Trek Beyond

13. The BFG

14. X-Men: Apocalypse

15. Kubo and the Two Strings

16. Suicide Squad

17. Alice Through the Looking Glass

18. Deadpool

19. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

20. Independence Day: Resurgence

I honestly don’t care what makes the shortlist (though based on what I’ve seen, no film deserves it more than Jungle Book), I just want to make it interesting for myself and try to guess it.

I could be overestimating Arrival’s chances, but I felt they did a great job making everything look real within the context of the story, so I think that’s good for a shortlist.

Alice in Wonderland was nominated before, so don’t be shocked if that did make a shortlist, but I think you’re safe not figuring that to make it.

Otherwise, I think it’s all pretty self-explanatory. I think I skewed a bit more to “classy” films than blockbuster affairs, and I think the shortlist will likely skew in the other direction. But whatever.

The real interest is when we have the shortlist and have to figure out what’s gonna be nominated.

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4 responses

  1. Let us all just devote one moment of silence for A Monster Calls before we move on in determining the final five and then the presumed winner in Best Visual FX.

    December 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    • I get it. I wasn’t particularly blown away by its effects. Now, The Impossible, on the other hand…

      December 2, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      • How in the world was The Impossible not nominated in Visual FX…?

        December 2, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      • Because Snow White and the Huntsman was such a sumptuous visual feast.

        December 2, 2016 at 8:33 pm

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