Time for more Oscar analysis, this time breaking down the categories for the best visual effects, make-up, and costume design.

VISUAL EFFECTS
The Golden Compass
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Transformers

Obvious Omissions: Spider-Man 3, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 300, Beowulf

 

It seems like a major oversight to include these three nominees and not any of the other visual effects giants of 2007. The sand effects in Spidey 3 alone should be worth a mention.

I looked into it and the Harry Potter franchise has only been nominated once for visual effects (it didn’t win). Maybe the voters missed the amazing fight scene at the end of this movie. Wands were going off all over the place!

The biggest controversy among other pundits is 300 not being recognized for their work with green screens. In my opinion, it looked great visually and everything, but wasn’t necessarily ground-breaking or much of an “achievement” in the field.

I’m not sure what the rules are for including a film in the “Visual Effects” category, so I don’t know if motion-capture belongs here or in animation, but Beowulf was overlooked in both places, which is a shame because visually it contributed more than any of the nominees.

From the ones that were chosen, I’d have to go with Pirates. Transformers created intricate giant robots, but then plunked them down in real (bad) settings. It should be ignored based solely on the poor animation of Optimus Prime’s mouth. The Golden Compass created animated animals to crawl around on screen, but not much else. Coca-Cola made the same polar bears years ago, so don’t tell me this is brilliant effects work.

Pirates didn’t just plug in computer graphics into regular sets, they developed an entire world full of effects shots. They animated tentacles on top of Bill Nighy’s face, people! It’s my pick for the Oscar, but it won last year, so the Academy will probably go with the sub-par Transformers.

MAKEUP
La Vie en Rose
Norbit
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Obvious Omissions: What am I gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that)? I guess the only one I can think of is Spider-Man 3 for making Kirsten Dunst appear attractive.

I have to laugh at this category because now Norbit, one of the worst films of the year and eight-time Razzie award nominee (the most, by the way), can claim that it received an Oscar nomination. But someone should get recognition for making Eddie Murphy look like an obese black woman. Now if only someone could make him funny again.

My choice would be Pirates, for the same reasons it should win visual effects, but the Academy will likely go to La Vie en Rose. Honestly, I think most people (including myself) could care less.

COSTUME DESIGN
Across the Universe
Atonement
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
La Vie en Rose
Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Obvious Omissions: Hairspray, but is it much of an achievement to get John Travolta in a dress?

Well, I have to admit I don’t really have much expertise in this category either. But, in my opinion, good costume design is when you don’t even really notice it. The average person doesn’t say, “Saaaay, that’s a pretty great costume.” So that rules out Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which is basically a wardrobe of giant collars. The original was nominated and didn’t win, so why would this?

I’d say it’s between Atonement and Sweeney Todd for the award with the edge going to Helena Bonham Carter’s cleavage.

Oscar Nominations
Best Song and Score
Best Animated Film
Best Screenplays
Best Direction/Cinematography
Best Supporting Actor/Actress
Best Actor/Actress
Best Picture

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