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by Peter Knegt
January 6, 2014 11:50 AM
43 Comments
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2014 Oscar Predictions: Best Visual Effects

Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the 86th Academy Awards through March 2nd, when the winners are announced.

If anything beats "Gravity" here, it would be the biggest surprise of the night.

Nominees and predictions below. Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

The nominees:
“Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
“Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
“The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
“Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Will win: “Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
Could win: N/A
Should win: “Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould

Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

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43 Comments

  • Ross H | February 21, 2014 4:15 PMReply

    I'm aware that Gravity is the most likely, but I think that The Hobbit could surprise, mainly because of Smaug. The scale, detail and realness that Smaug was designed and animated with is on a par (technically) with anything Gravity did. Critics and regular folks are already calling Smaug the best movie creature ever, and not without reason.

  • MINHYUK | February 8, 2014 9:09 PMReply

    Will win: Gravity
    Should Win: Gravity or Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
    Should Not Be Here: Iron Man 3 and Star Trek: Into Darkness
    Should Have Been Here: Pacific Rim and Elysium
    Dark Horse: The Lone Ranger

  • Travis Baker | January 31, 2014 5:14 PMReply

    Should've been here: 'Pacific Rim'

  • FABIAN | January 16, 2014 7:06 PMReply

    Four words: STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS. Sounds like most of you didn't watch it, though.

  • Dylan | January 13, 2014 8:51 PMReply

    My Nominations (Best Visual Effects):
    ELYSIUM
    GRAVITY
    OBLIVION
    PACIFIC RIM
    STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS/THOR: THE DARK WORLD/THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

    Honorable Mention:
    MAN OF STEEL

  • David | January 4, 2014 11:10 PMReply

    Man Of Steel??????

  • Laut | January 13, 2014 10:51 AM

    He can't, man. It's sad because it has good effects :(

  • mm | December 30, 2013 7:17 PMReply

    I was little bit sad because OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL didn't get in the finalist.
    so, here's my FINAL PREDICTION:

    1. GRAVITY - Stunning!
    2. HOBBIT : The Desolation Of Smaug - BEAUTIFUL!
    3. ELYSIUM - Amazing!
    4. PACIFIC RIM - GREAT!!
    5. OBLIVION - Flawless!

  • mari | December 30, 2013 12:52 PMReply

    why not the hunger games???

  • John | December 28, 2013 6:46 AMReply

    Well, of course Gravity is more photorealistic, it`s based on environment that we all have seen many times before in movies. Lots of broken spaceshuttle pieces and so on.. It is easier to say "is photorealistic" because how many of us have seen a living dragon before? Try to create convincing talking dragon, no one has done that kind of thing before. Both moves are techincally and visually best of 2013.

    Gollum´s creation were much easier, because that character is almost like human with it`s appearance. Smaug was created also using motion capture, but the task was a lot harder this time. Eye color change with emotions, all different tones in his voice, all the scale movement, the amount of detail was insane. It is easily a better creation technically and visually than gollum, that`s why The Hobbit deserves this in 2014. A lot of critics was saying also "the best CGI-creature ever." Not a worth an Oscar? Think again.

    Smaug is worth 1 Oscar easily. I really hope they win this, but i also think Gravity will win.

  • GIL | February 4, 2014 10:33 AM

    I personally think that it isn't so much about photorealism but rather which effect was more believable. It doesn't matter if dragons don't exist and space stations do because neither of those things were directly present during the filming of their respective films. Which film maintained the suspension of disbelief longer? Having seen both films I'll go with Gravity and I'll admit that is partially attributed to it being photorealistic.

  • alucard | December 28, 2013 5:46 AMReply

    Hobbit shouldn't take this. Why ? Becouse Gravity is photorealistic, It beats Avatar in my opinion. I can't imagine diffrent winner than Gravity, every person who knows anything about visual effects will pick Cuaron's picture. Smaug is not enough to take Oscar, and Gollum is still better character so I can't see the point.

  • Van | December 27, 2013 9:18 PMReply

    I think The Hobbit deserves to win, but Gravity really does deserve it too. Gravity will win in the end I think.

  • Captain Jack | December 27, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    I think there are this year 2 superior movies visually: The Hobbit and Gravity and the others comes behind, Elysium, Iron Man 3, Pacific Rim etc..

    The Hobbit should definitely win this. Why? The answer is simple and fair: Smaug
    Yes, Gravity was incredibly especially in 3D, the most realistic "space movie" as long as i remember. However..
    The Desolation of Smaug was also visually stunning and Smaug was something we have not seen before in movies. Technically superior creation, movement, his voice.. Yes, they should win simply because creating that dragon. It has already been stated by numerous sources by "the greatest CGI-character of all time" Beating Gollum, which won an Oscar back then. And it really shows how much effort they put, Smaug feels unbelievably real.

    So if the greatest mythological creature ever on the big screen deserves an Oscar in visuals, then what deserves? Considering that was almost mission impossible to create realistic talking, fire breathing beast on the movie. And how well they did.. The Hobbit deserves this, period.

  • Alucard | December 25, 2013 3:08 AMReply

    We have:

    World War Z
    Oblivion
    Elysium
    The Lone Ranger

    and no Man of Steel ? Why ?

  • Bard | December 19, 2013 7:26 AMReply

    Gravity is winning this one.
    Other nominees: The Hobbit, Pacific Rim, Star Trek: Into Darkness and...Elysium

  • benutty | December 17, 2013 9:04 PMReply

    Are you guys aware that there are only 3 nominations in this category or..............

  • Brett | December 19, 2013 5:11 PM

    That's Makeup and Hairstyling

  • davidkrow | December 12, 2013 4:56 PMReply

    Man of Steel not even visual effects possibilities WHAT!?!

  • Tyler | December 9, 2013 8:49 AMReply

    Where the hell is catching fire ! C'MON !!!!

  • MEMYSELFANDI | December 6, 2013 11:01 PMReply

    10 Contenders Remain in VFX Oscar® Race

    The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

    “Elysium”
    “Gravity”
    “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
    “Iron Man 3”
    “The Lone Ranger”
    “Oblivion”
    “Star Trek Into Darkness”
    “Thor: The Dark World”
    “Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Pacific Rim”
    “World War Z”

  • John Kreczko | December 4, 2013 11:59 AMReply

    Catching Fire should be on the "Other Good Bets" list, its visual effects are amazing.

  • JD | December 2, 2013 7:44 PMReply

    1. What is Great Gatsby doing on this list? When did they use visual effects in that movie?
    2. Pacific Rim definitely deserves a nomination. The visual effects of the robots and monsters fighting made the movie. If the visual effects weren't so good, the movie would have been awful and a waste of time. However, because the visual effects were so good, the movie was quite enjoyable.

  • davidkrow | December 12, 2013 4:55 PM

    ALL of Gatsby is visual effects. They barely built sets when filming the movie, all the backgrounds were put in later.

  • Derek | November 29, 2013 6:00 AMReply

    Where is Catching fire ? A lot better than man of steel according to me !

  • Brittany | November 21, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    Why even bother w/ other nominations? Gravity will be the clear winner. Alfonso Cuaron created new technology to make it happen. No question it will win best visual effects.

  • BOO | November 11, 2013 10:30 AMReply

    I would be surprised if Pacific Rim wasn't nominated. I don't know about Secret Life of Walter Mitty with the bad reviews and everything.

  • Michael | January 3, 2014 9:59 PM

    The Oscars do nominate poorly rated films in the technical awards – all the time, in fact. Transformers, Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Carribean (2 & 3), to name a few.

  • Iago | November 25, 2013 4:22 PM

    Bad reviews should have NOTHING to do with any of the technical nominations, unless criticism is directed at the visual effects. The Oscars are retarded.

  • TyTyMoMo | November 6, 2013 8:53 PMReply

    Gravity will easily win. The other nominees should be Man of Steel, Hobbit 2, Pacific Rim, & Oz the Great & Powerful. I haven't seem Walter Mitty or Rush yet though.

  • MN | November 4, 2013 7:46 PMReply

    Ender's Game should be nominated as well. The visuals were stunning!

  • MEMYSELFANDI | October 24, 2013 5:37 AMReply

    my predictions:

    1. GRAVITY
    2. ELYSIUM
    3. OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL
    4. HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
    5. PACIFIC RIM

  • Laut | October 21, 2013 8:50 PMReply

    For me: 1-Gravity
    2-Oz
    3-Star Trek Into Darkness
    4-Rush
    5-Elysium

  • Fidel | October 20, 2013 1:54 AMReply

    It's my own personal opinion and I might get trashed for this, but I don't find the visuals of The Hobbit (Pt.1 & Pt.2)impressive, they are too colorful and eye popping, I know it's supposed to be a friendlier atmosphere than that of TLOTR Trilogy but I can't help but feel that the actual landscapes look less realistic without miniatures and with more CG (except creatures and Gollum) which do in fact look better, but that's just my own personal opinion...

  • Brett | October 17, 2013 5:06 PMReply

    Rush is a great film but I don't recall any visuals in the film

  • Brett | October 24, 2013 4:56 PM

    What visuals?

  • Art | October 18, 2013 9:35 PM

    That's how good the visual effects are!

  • The Brady Critic | October 14, 2013 1:13 PMReply

    Will win: Gravity

    might win: the hobbit 2

    should win: gravity

  • M | October 8, 2013 8:45 PMReply

    And the award goes to Gravity

  • Will | October 8, 2013 2:53 AMReply

    Pacific Rim will be nominated. Oscars have always been extremely well to technical achievements to Guillermo Del Toro and Pacific Rim was 100% eye candy. And Man of Steel's effects were nothing amazing (but then again, I thought the same for Snow White).

  • BOO | October 6, 2013 9:01 AMReply

    I can see them nominating Pacific Rim over Man of Steel. They don't usually like giving fanboys what they want. I also think Walter Mitty is out. Reviews kind of suck. Maybe Elysium.

  • Eminem | October 5, 2013 3:13 AMReply

    I think most likely will be
    Gravity
    The Hobbit: Desolation of the Smaug
    Pacific Rim
    Man Of Steel
    Elysium

  • Brett | September 25, 2013 2:59 PMReply

    Thor 2 should be on this list