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Hollywood Celebrates Its Own, But Not Sci-Fi

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As you know, Hollywood got together last night in order to pay tribute to itself in a multi-million dollar orgy of celebrity egos. It seems like only yesterday that the WGA Strike threatened to put an end to it by refusing to write the quips Jon Stewart would read on-stage as Hollywood snapped both arms off at the elbow patting itself on the back. But it all worked out on the end, and viewers around the world huddled close to the television to bask in the cathode glow of Christmas in Xanadu.

Yet curiously, now that the winners are in, genre films were surprisingly underrepresented, despite it being a banner year for fantasy and science-fiction. In fact, only one genre film won an Oscar: The Golden Compass, based on the first novel in Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, for Best Visual Effects.

The award was received by senior visual-effects supervisor Mike
Fink: “We just brought a small quote from Walt Disney, who
said ‘It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.'”

That it is, but I’m a bit shocked: As much as I enjoyed The Golden Compass (and I did), its effects really didn’t blow me away. On the other hand, as much as I revile Michael Bay’s Transformers (which was Compass‘s
direct competitor) I will say that they did excellent work mocking-up
how one giant robot might pile another through a skyscraper. I can only
assume Transformers lost because even Hollywood’s not so up-its-own-sphincter that they could justify giving a Michael Bay production an Oscar.

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