Endgame among finalists for VFX Oscar

With the third decade of the 21st century nearly upon us, movie awards season is in full swing. Studios have begun their “for your consideration” campaigns in earnest. It’s been quite the year for cinema thus far with films like JOKER, THE IRISHMAN, MARRIAGE STORY, FORD V FERRARI, 1917, and a myriad of others leading the way.

Aside from being a phenomenal last twelve months for film, it’s also been quite the year for special effects. AVENGERS: ENDGAME blew our collective minds in April with a stunning final battle that was damn near Biblical, we saw the wonders of de-aging with THE IRISHMAN, and we’ve still yet to see what a galaxy far, far away holds in store for us with STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. While you still have to wait sixteen days to enjoy that last one, you don’t have to wait to see the potential VFX nominees for February’s Academy Awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has whittled down its list to twenty hopefuls. Among them are the aforementioned AVENGERS: ENDGAME, along with two other Marvel films, a high flying elephant, and a Brad Pitt space adventure. Here’s the full list:

Ad Astra

The Aeronauts


Alita: Battle Angel

Captain Marvel



Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw

Ford V Ferrari

Gemini Man

The Irishman

Jumnaji: The Next Level

The Lion King

Men In Black: International



Spider-Man: Far From Home

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Terminator: Dark Fate

I have to say of all the films on the list the one that perplexes me is the last one. For a $185 million movie, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE contained some pretty questionable VFX shots. I didn’t think SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME was that particularly mind-blowing either. However, it’s important to note that this is a preliminary list and I highly doubt either one of those movies will eventually make the cut.

Later this month the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee will whittle down this list even further to ten films. The final five nominees, along with all the other categories, will be announced live January 13. The show itself comes a little bit earlier than normal this year on February 9, 2020. JoBlo will once again be covering the ceremony with our own Paul Shirey tweeting live during the presentations.

So what do you guys think should be the five eventual nominees? Who do you think should ultimately win? Sound off in the comments below!


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