Trying to go into the approach I’ve adopted for these posts this year, in which I’ve decided to talk more about the quality of the nominees rather than just predicting who will win, in the Visual Effects Category seems a little ridiculous. There is no question that the most accomplished movie of the year, in terms of technological advancement and impressive visuals, is Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. The idea of actually making a movie in which the main character is floating around space for most of the running-time was a gamble in trusting that technology and creativity would manage to make it work. Regardless of the movie’s shortcomings, there is no denying the massive success achieved by the visual effects team behind Gravity.
But what about the other nominees? Is the obvious winner in company worthy of its presence? And if Gravity weren’t nominated, then who would we vote for? Well, my second choice isn’t even a question. It’s obviously Iron Man 3. I am not a fan of computer generated images at all, you can always tell when a character has been animated by a computer, so I really appreciate it when a movie tries to use CG only when its necessary, but also when the artists take the time to make the animation look as detailed and realistic as possible. The work done on the mechanical armors of Iron Man 3 is worthy of praise in an animation perspective, just for the amount of personality that was given to this artificial images (something completely lacking, for example, in the robots of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim).
Following that logic, I’m also in favor of the nomination of The Lone Ranger, a movie that has undeservedly become the punching bag for complaining about Hollywood blockbusters. I don’t think The Lone Ranger is a good movie, but it is at least more daring in its point of view than most of the big summer movies released this year. Just comparing it to the other two nominees in this category (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Star Trek Into Darkness) makes it stand out as an idiosyncratic, noble failure. And in my opinion, there is no denying that the visual effects work done in the movie is the right amount of spectacular and effective. And before you start going off about the dragon in The Desolation of Smaug, let me tell you that I was not impressed, and remind you how terrible and boring the chase scene that follows the overlong dragon conversation is.
Will Win: Gravity
My Vote: Gravity