After taking the unusual step earlier this month of listing a full 20 films being considered for the VFX Oscar, the Academy has narrowed the field. Only 10 films now appear on the VFX Oscar shortlist.
Still in the race? Ex Machina, made on a reported $15 million budget — by far the thriftiest endeavor on the list — and The Revenant, the production of which was famously described as "a living hell" by a pre-release story in The Hollywood Reporter. They and the other eight contenders will be making their best case during 10-minute presentations at the January 9 VFX bake-off, following which the Visual Effects Branch members will vote on the five films that will finally be nominated for Academy Awards.
Among the films eliminated? Furious Seven, which had recently been touting the extraordinary lengths its VFX team went to in shooting much of the film without the late actor Paul Walker, Everest, which has earned praise for the realism of its doomed mountain expedition, and In the Heart of the Sea with its massive water simulations. Also gone are the otherwise poorly received Chappie and Jupiter Ascending, both of which had hoped to find their way into the Oscars on the strength of their effects.
Here's the full list.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The 88th Oscar nominations are set to be announced the morning of Thursday, January 14, with the awards ceremony to follow on Sunday, February 28.
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