The Visual Effects Oscar longlist announced in December has been whittled down to a shortlist of four nominations – not that this list matters as we all know Gravity has got the gong sewn up. Alongside Alfonso Cuaron’s space masterpiece are Iron Man 3, Star Trek: Into Darkness (perhaps surprisingly), The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and The Lone Ranger.
Elysium, Oblivion, Pacific Rim, and Thor: The Dark World are the films that didn’t make the cut. ...
The first time I was even aware that there was a visual effects Oscar was the year The Guns of Navarone won it.
The Guns of Freaking Navarone.
The clip from the film that got the picture a Little Gold Man was a clay-model mountain blowing up, then a couple of toy cannons falling out of the mountain into water. That's what it took to win the award in 1962. That obviously wouldn't cut it today, but fifty-two years ago? Gang-busters. Plus TGON was a blockbuster World War II picture, which didn't hurt.
The only thing that surprises me about Gravity is that it wasn't a nominee in the Animated Feature category. But I guess you have to be 100% pure.