2016 Best Visual Effects Oscar semi-finalists: 'Ex Machina,' 'The Revenant' surprisingly remain in the running
A couple of weeks ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the semi-semi-finalists for the 2016 Visual Effects Academy Award. There were 20 movies on the list. On Monday, Dec. 21, the Academy announced 10 films as the actual semi-finalists; five of these will be shortlisted for the 2016 Oscar.
As found in its press release, the Academy's “Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films.” The “viewing” will take place on Sat., Jan. 9, '16. Following the screenings, the members will select the five final nominees.
A few surprises
Surprises among those that made the cut are Alex Garland's Ex Machina, a British-made, relatively low-budget sci-fier distributed in the U.S. by (Hollywood powerhouse) Universal; and Alejandro González Iñárritu's adventure drama The Revenant – hardly the sort of movie one thinks of as “special-effects driven.”
Surprises among those that did not make the cut are Baltasar Kormákur's Everest, Andy and Lana Wachowski's Jupiter Ascending, the Sam Mendes-Daniel Craig James Bond movie Spectre, and the Christopher McQuarrie-Tom Cruise collaboration Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. Perhaps because Cruise is supposed to have performed his own plane stunt?
2016 Best Visual Effects Oscar semi-finalists
The ten remaining 2016 Best Visual Effects Oscar contenders are listed below in alphabetical order (including director and key cast members):
Dir.: Peyton Reed.
Cast: Paul Rudd. Michael Douglas. Evangeline Lilly. Corey Stoll. Bobby Cannavale.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Dir.: Joss Whedon.
Cast: Scarlett Johansson. Chris Evans. Mark Ruffalo. Chris Hemsworth. Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Jeremy Renner. Elizabeth Olsen. Robert Downey Jr. James Spader.
- Ex Machina.
Dir.: Alex Garland.
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson. Corey Johnson. Oscar Isaac. Alicia Vikander.
- Jurassic World.
Dir.: Colin Trevorrow.
Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard. Chris Pratt. Irrfan Khan. Vincent D'Onofrio. Nick Robinson. Ty Simpkins. BD Wong. Omar Sy. Judy Greer. Jake Johnson. Katie McGrath.
- Mad Max: Fury Road.
Dir.: George Miller.
Cast: Charlize Theron. Tom Hardy. Nicholas Hoult. Hugh Keays-Byrne. Josh Helman. Zoë Kravitz. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
- The Martian.
Dir.: Ridley Scott.
Cast: Matt Damon. Jessica Chastain. Kristen Wiig. Jeff Daniels. Michael Peña. Kate Mara. Sean Bean. Sebastian Stan. Aksel Hennie. Chiwetel Ejiofor. Mackenzie Davis. Benedict Wong.
- The Revenant.
Dir.:Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio. Tom Hardy. Domhnall Gleeson. Will Poulter. Paul Anderson. Lukas Haas. Brendan Fletcher. Kristoffer Joner.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Dir.: J.J. Abrams.
Cast: Domhnall Gleeson. Daisy Ridley. Lupita Nyong'o. Adam Driver. Peter Mayhew. John Boyega. Carrie Fisher. Harrison Ford. Mark Hamill. Andy Serkis. Warwick Davis. Anthony Daniels. Billie Lourd. Kenny Baker. Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Mark Stanley. Gwendoline Christie. Greg Grunberg. Simon Pegg. Jessica Henwick. Max von Sydow.
Dir.: Brad Bird.
Cast: George Clooney. Britt Robertson. Hugh Laurie. Judy Greer.
- The Walk.
Dir.: Robert Zemeckis.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Charlotte Le Bon. Ben Kingsley. James Badge Dale.
The 2016 Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thur., Jan. 14 at 5:30 a.m. PT at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The 2016 Oscars will be held on Sun., Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. In the U.S., the Oscar ceremony will be televised live by ABC. The awards presentation will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.) website.
Image of Alice Vikander in the 2016 Best Visual Effects Oscar semi-finalist Ex Machina: Universal Pictures.
Image of Tom Cruise in the 2016 Best Visual Effects Oscar semi-finalist Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation: Paramount Pictures.