The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the final 15 contenders for the 2010 Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

This is only the first cut, though. Next, members of the Academy’s visual effects branch executive committee will select seven of the final 15. At that point, all the members of the visual effects branch watch 15 minute clip reels from those seven films and then select the five nominees. Eventually, one film will be given the Oscar on February 27 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. After the jump, look at the full list and join along in guessing which films will make the cut and which won’t.

Here are the fifteen films that are still in the running for a nomination, which will be handed out on January 25.

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Clash of the Titans
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2
  • The Last Airbender
  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
  • Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
  • Scott Pilgrim vs the World
  • Shutter Island
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • TRON: Legacy
  • Unstoppable.

Out of those 15, there are certainly some welcome surprises (Shutter Island, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) as well as some questionable choices (The Last Airbender, Percy Jackson) and the rest are all pretty obvious: they’re all the huge effects movies of 2010.

So let’s make some educated guesses, shall we? Stop me when you disagree (or just make a comment below.)

For the second cut, out of the about 15, seven will be chosen. I’d eliminate the four I just mentioned either because the films weren’t that well received or the effects weren’t that obvious. Then I’d also eliminate Unstoppable, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Iron Man 2. I picked the first two for the same reasons as the other films. As for Narnia and Iron Man, the were pretty much just improved versions of their original versions.

That then leaves Alice in Wonderland, Clash of the Titans, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Hereafter, Inception, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Tron: Legacy as the seven that make the second round. Out of those I think Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia get the boot, simply because they look so similar.

You nominees, then, would be

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Tron: Legacy

The one you are probably questioning in there is Hereafter. The reason I didn’t eliminate it immediately is because the Academy loves them some Clint Eastwood and there’s always at least one or two films that get nominated where you’re like, “What?”

And out of those five, I believe Inception wins the Oscar.

Those are my guesses. What do you think?

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