Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' Starring Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara Cannes Review: Todd Haynes' 'Carol' Starring Cate Blanchett & Rooney Mara Nicolas Winding Refn Goes 60 fps For 'The Neon Demon' Nicolas Winding Refn Goes 60 fps For 'The Neon Demon' George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Check Out Teaser Posters For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon' Check Out Teaser Posters For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' & Nicolas Winding Refn's 'The Neon Demon' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Does 'The Hobbit' Deserve A VFX Oscar? 3 Featurettes Make The Case

The Playlist By Joe Cunningham | The Playlist January 18, 2013 at 1:55PM

While Peter Jackson’s final film in his epic “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was showered with Oscars, that won’t be the case for the first installment of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." The film picked up just three Oscar nominations, putting it in the running for Makeup and Hairstyling (which it may have a shot at if the voters take beardstyling into consideration too), Production Design and Visual Effects. In that final category 'The Hobbit' will face stiff competition in the form of “Life of Pi,” “The Avengers,” “Prometheus” and “Snow White and the Huntsman,” but three new featurettes argue that the work done by Weta on 'The Hobbit' deserves to come out on top.
1
The Hobbit Gollum

While Peter Jackson’s final film in his epic “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy was showered with Oscars, that won’t be the case for the first installment of “The HobbitAn Unexpected Journey." The film picked up just three Oscar nominations, putting it in the running for Makeup and Hairstyling (which it may have a shot at if the voters take beardstyling into consideration too), Production Design and Visual Effects. In that final category 'The Hobbit' will face stiff competition in the form of “Life of Pi,” “The Avengers,” “Prometheus” and “Snow White and the Huntsman,” but three new featurettes argue that the work done by Weta on 'The Hobbit' deserves to come out on top.

Between them, the other nominees created an array of digital/digitally enhanced characters including a Bengal tiger, a Hulk, that weird stag in SWATH, and those Jason Statham-esque aliens in "Prometheus," but a new article over on Hero Complex argues that their achievements were (literally) dwarfed by 'The Hobbit.' The article explains that Weta faced unique challenges thanks to Jackson’s decision to shoot in 48fps, and the scrutiny that would be on the theater-like dialogue scene that depicted the "Riddles in the Dark." The three featurettes each go into specifics on how Weta worked on Gollum, Azog and the scrotum-necked Goblin King.

Whether these will do anything to sway Academy voters is another matter, but there’s no doubt that the film produced some truly incredible visual effects. We would, however, argue that even by focusing on these three characters there’s a noticeable variation in quality. Gollum’s flawless, and while we weren’t exactly convinced by the Goblin King as a whole, some of the design details that were realized for that character were truly stunning. It’s this writer’s opinion though, Azog in particular was a weak creation, possibly reflecting Jackson’s late decision to include the character. Frankly we still think this category is fairly open, but if there’s one thing these featurettes draw into focus it's how unlucky Andy Serkis has been never to be recognized with a statuette for his performance as Gollum.  

This article is related to: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson, Andy Serkis


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates