‘Warcraft’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ Among Those Cut From the VFX Oscar Shortlist
With all due respect to the major acting and directing categories, I’ve come to really appreciate the Academy Awards’ technical categories in recent years. Whereas the performances and movies at the top of the program are often culled from a predictable pool of art films and auteur projects, the VFX Oscars tend to be a bit more egalitarian in nature, honoring whatever movies are the most impressive regardless of overall quality. This is often how populist film genres not typically noticed by the Academy — action, science-fiction, fantasy — slip into Oscar contention.
This year, fans of films like Deadpool and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice undoubtedly hoped that the VFX category would be a way for their favorite movies of the year to receive some small acknowledgement for what it got right. Unfortunately, though, the first round of cuts from the Oscar shortlist was particularly unkind to superhero films. Today, the Academy announced (via The Playlist) that the list had been whittled down from 20 to 10, with another five films set to be cut for the final category.
The ten films cut from the shortlist include Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Deadpool, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Independence Day: Resurgence, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad, Sully, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Warcraft.
The ten films still in competition include Arrival, The BFG, Captain America: Civil War, Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, Passengers, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
As The Playlist notes, it’s particularly surprising to see Warcraft cut from the list. Even if you weren’t a fan of the film as a whole, the visual effects — from the use of magic to the impressive character design for the Orcs — are some of the best you’ll see in theaters this year. Fans of comic book adaptations will also be disappointed to see that three of the Marvel and DC movies in competition were cut from the shortlist, with only Doctor Strange and Captain America: Civil War still in contention. It’s worth noting that the magic effects in Doctor Strange aren’t quite on par with Warcraft, but hey, what’s done is done.
Which five will make the final cut? We’ll find out alongside everyone else when the full list of Oscar nominees is released on January 24, 2017.