Academy Award Visual Effects Shortlist Includes Iron Man, Thor

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today released their "shortlist" for Oscar consideration in the category of Visual Effects.

Ten films remain in the running, including Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World. Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures ot two nominations in the category--Pacific Rim and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug--but Man of Steel was left off the list.

Of course, that film didn't exactly fare well with reviewers...then again, neither did The Lone Ranger, which rated a shortlist position. A number of factors likely counted against Man of Steel, not least of which is director Zack Snyder, who has had trouble getting the attention of the Academy, even with 300, which was one of his best-reviewed films and the breakthrough movie of his career in terms of shaping a visual style.

The Hobbit The Desolation Of Smaug posterThe shortlist in its entirety is composed of Elysium, Gravity, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, The Lone Ranger, Oblivion, Pacific Rim, Star Trek Into Darkness, Thor: The Dark World and World War Z. Some of those, like The Hobbit and Gravity, are fairly safe bets for an Oscar nomination, which narrows the potential field for the remaining three nominations somewhat.

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 on Thursday, January 9, 2014. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.

Oscars nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on ABC.