Thursday, 5 January 2012

Incoherent Oscar: Visual Effects and Art Direction

And, yet more Oscar talk. Can you blame me? It's only a few weeks to nominations. *must get soothsayer skills working*
 
VISUAL EFFECTS
The last time I spoke on this category the lovely people over at AMPAS had narrowed the list down to fifteen, and yesterday they narrowed it again to ten knocking out Super 8 which is a bit surprising but doesn't bother me either way. So, ahoy, what to make of the ten potential nominees...

MY GUESS: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II; Hugo; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Transformers


THEN AGAIN, PERHAPS: The Tree of Life, Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class

MORE POSSIBILITIES: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol; Real Steel

In my stubbornness I still predict Hugo here even though everyone tells me that Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the frontrunner. I'm street like that. Why do almost every nomination pool seem to forget that Pirates of the Caribbean is a viable contender for a nomination, at the very least. True, The Tree of Life in all of its critical glory could slip in here and the nomination would not be undeserved, but even if Pirates of the Caribbean: OST is occasionally...okay often...shoddy it does look pretty. Otherwise, I think the other four are assured of nominations. But, then, I was so sure they'd nominate Scott Pilgrim vs the World for the best visuals last year and look where that got me.

For now, these incoherent Oscar posts are more about predicting nominees than winner and I shall admit that Hugo is an unlikely winner not because it's visuals are sub-par, but the crossover between what is the visual effects, what is the photography and what is the set decoration is so mired. And, really, you're never sure just what the visual lovers go for.

ART DIRECTION
And, also yesterday, the Art Directors' Guild submitted their nominees in three different categories and even though they are not the Oscar voters it does make us consider what's in the running for Art Direction? And who doesn't love this category? Well, I do...so, whatever. Anyhow, my predictions...

MY GUESS: The Artist; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; Hugo; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

THEN AGAIN, PERHAPS: Anonymous; Captain America: The First AvengerJane Eyre; The Help


MORE (IM)POSSIBILITIES: A Dangerous Method; The Tree of Life; Midnight in Paris

How bizarre was the lack of love for Jane Eyre and A Dangerous Method from the Guild, admittedly probably not that much because the period category is packed with goodies but I think both films might have uphill battles in terms of landing nominations, which is especially unfortunate. I'm lost as to how I managed to not include Pirates of the Caribbean on my previous art direction discussion, and with Sherlock Holmes apparently forgotten by everyone I feel that it should not be counted out. Is there any chance of betting against Hugo here? Surely, even its largest detractors will not grudge its potential win this category? And, damn, those people need to make up to Ferretti after that Shutter Island snub.
         
So, when it comes to looking good and pretty what are you hoping the AMPAS falls in love with?

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