We’re thinking about the Academy Awards again for this week’s Thursday Movie Picks, run by Wandering through the Shelves. We’ve been asked to list three to five films where the film took home either the Oscar for Best Cinematography or Best Visual Effects. As usual, I’ve made my selection from films I have seen.
Robert Burks for To Catch a Thief (1955) – One thing that blew me away while watching this – apart from Grace Kelly’s chic wardrobe – was the vibrancy of the colour. The beautiful scenery of the French Riviera is really done justice.
Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) – There are so many things to enjoy in this film. Visually it looks fantastic. It carefully balances and complements the activities taking place in the real world with the events within the labyrinth.
Emmanuel Lubezki for The Revenant (2015) – While watching The Revenant you feel cold, even if you’re sitting in your warm home in comfortable clothing. You don’t envy the bleak, tough terrain that our protagonist, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass, works in. To capture such physical responses in your viewer is very impressive.
Best Visual Effects
Peter Ellenshaw, Eustace Lycett and Hamilton Luske for Mary Poppins (1964) – Mary Poppins is one of the most charming, enjoyable children’s films, in my opinion. The visual effects perfectly add to the wonder and complement the singing and choreography.
John Stears, John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, Grant McCune and Robert Blalack for Star Wars (1977) – It is no exaggeration to say that Star Wars changed cinema forever. Simply put, it made the impossible, possible. There are a myriad elements that impress me in this film but one of the biggest is the sense of scale that the effects deliver.
H. R. Giger, Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder and Dennis Ayling for Alien (1979) – On its release contemporary audiences were blown away by Alien‘s visual effects. Decades later and that still rings true. The creature effects are so incredibly realistic and lifelike.
Ken Ralston, Richard Williams, Edward Jones and George Gibbs for Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) – This is a very fun film – combining live-action and animation – but without such strong visual effects it would not have had such an impact.
Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri for Jurassic Park (1993) – Nearly 30 years after its release and the visual effects still deliver. The dinosaurs are the most crucial part of the film and so very lifelike that you truly believe they are there. Animatronics are married with CGI with great effect.