Fan Rants: My Worries About Wonder Woman

If this trailer doesn’t give you girl-power induced tingles, try watching it with your eyes open. DC’s Wonder Woman is one of the most anticipated movies of 2017, if you can believe my twitter feed. It combines all the things I love most: superheroes, period pieces, and brunettes gettin’ it done. But in light of the most recent DC tent poles, my Wonder Woman hopes now have a pretty big asterisk.

WonderWomanSupermanBatmanIf you’re at all familiar with Fangirly, you know that Ellen and I have some issues with the way women are portrayed in superhero films, DC films specifically. And although DC is far from the sole guilty party, it’s safe to say that they struggle the most with bringing their female characters to the big screen in a empowering and (frankly) interesting way. I think I’ve pretty much said my peace on Batman V Superman and Man of Steel, so lets look to more relevant examples.

In a long list of disappointing things about Suicide Squad, perhaps the most substantial bummer is how it obliterated its opportunity to bring us any well-rounded or well-thought out women characters, which would have gone a long way toward engaging DC’s ever-dwindling non-fanboy audience. Take Harley Quinn. Here’s a character who lost her freedom, her career, her sanity, to her relationship with a green-haired gangster. She’s a poster 2A8183C600000578-3160445-image-m-68_1436863964058.jpgchild for the devastating effects of abusive relationships, but the most interesting thing this film found to say about Harley Quinn was that she was “hot” and “crazy”, not necessarily in that order. And don’t even get me started on the scene where the Joker offers Harley’s “services” to a male business associate. Seriously, don’t.

The other ladies in the movie are hardly worth mentioning. In lieu of giving June Moone a SUICIDE-SQUAD-55personality they gave an age old shortcut: a love story. Katana serves no narrative purpose at all,  unless the shadowy government agency that formed the squad had some kind of Affirmative Action quota to fill. And Amanda Weller, easily the film’s most intriguing character, male or female, get’s boiled down to one word- bitch. Reductive? Sure. But also not that surprising.

The reason women can’t seem to catch a break in these films is because I’m fairly certain that they aren’t made with women in mind. Several scenes in Batman V Superman were complete undecipherable unless you were intimately familiar with the comics on which the film was based. And even though girls are carving a real niche for themselves in the comic book arena, the fact still remains that most comic fans are one X chromosome shy of 12670724b2dcebae01d32954ca08fcc760bac3e368b5075752c482d983b67a09.jpga matching set. Dudes, in other words. Which is why, you understand, I have my concerns about DC attempting to launch a franchise centered around a character that is an icon of Third Wave Feminism.

DC, you cannot get this wrong. Wonder Woman will be the first female stand-alone superhero franchise, and it’s success means more than just a bottom line. That means resisting the urge to put women in hot-pants. I know you have it in you.

Yours optimistically,

Whitney Weldon

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Fan Rants: Coming Clean About Batman V Superman

trinitylargeIf you read this blog with any sort of regularity, you may know that on Saturday I saw Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman. You may also recall that I thought it was, ahem, flawed. Nothing weird there, right? The film’s 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes suggests I wasn’t alone. What I didn’t expect was the amount of time I’d spend defending a position that, quite frankly, I thought I’d already made pretty clear. So let me try this one more time.

Shall I tell the real reason why I didn’t like BvS? It wasn’t just the sloppy writing, or the less-than-inspired dialogue, or the fact that I’ve seen high school health videos with more emotional complexity. It was the fact that I was expected to enjoy, even connect with, a story that so obviously wasn’t made for me.

As a lifelong fan of the superhero genre, I’ve reached a sort of begrudging acceptance of the way things are; women may not be equally represented in blockbuster tent-poles, but at least the women we do see are invariably spectacular in their own ways. And when the trailer for this latest DC offering was released, I was just as excited as anyone by the prospect of finally getting a Wonder Woman worthy of the name. It wasn’t as though my hopes weren’t realized. In the seven minutes she’s on screen (yes, that is the actual batman-vs-superman-ew-pics-2number) Gal Gadot’s iteration of Diana Prince proves herself to be much more savvy, capable, and interesting than either of the titular heroes. Of course, if you blinked at any point during the movie, it’s a performance you probably missed. In fact, there are really only four notable female characters in the entire film, and by “notable” I of course mean “has any kind of speaking part at all”. Lets take a (somewhat spoiler-y) look at how these women were used in the film. It won’t take long; like I said, it’s a short list.

batman-v-superman-dawn-justiceLet’s start with Lois Lane. Smart, independent, award-winning reporter who manages not to choke on lines like, “I’m not a lady, I’m a journalist”. She’s the one person who even attempts to figure out what really happens during a desert shoot-out, for which Superman is blamed (despite the fact that he doesn’t use guns…). An attempt that, by the way, is dismissed as a misguided effort to stand by her man. So much for that. At least there was still something for her to do in the film. She also appears as the prettiest piece of bait you ever saw. 635944238331424071-BVS-19098r

Then there’s Martha Kent (Diane Lane), adopted mother of Superman and purveyor of pithy, home-spun wisdom. She represents Clark’s deepest connection to his own
humanity, a trait that is repeatedly called into question. So you think she’d feature pretty strongly, right? PSYCH. Her husband’s ghost has more lines than she does. Luckily for Martha fans, she does also make a cameo as Hostage #2.

Next let’s look at the most overlooked and tragically underused character of them all. Senator Finch (Holly Hunter) is the only person in this movie who acts with any kind of Screen-Shot-2015-07-13-at-11.46.10-AMclear motivation. She’s strong, she’s decisive, and she’s the only person trying to demand accountability in a realistic way. The only problem? We’re not really supposed to like her. Whether by intention or by reflex, Snyder plays her off as a nag; a woman of a certain age who just complicates matters for the men involved. Not only is she a victim of the Capitol Bombing, she’s specifically targeted by the parties responsible. For what? Being too aggressive? Too articulate? I’m not sure what the message is here, but I know I’m not comfortable with it.

Which brings us back around to Diana Prince. That bastion of Badassery. That oasis of empowered womanhood. It is worth noting that the most impressive woman in this movie isn’t allowed to be such without a whip, thigh-high boots, and a tight leather outfit.

tumblr_lrg2eha8x51qmr85ko1_5001

So stop asking me why I didn’t like this movie. Stop asking me to explain myself again and again. Gender politics aside, it was an underwhelming movie-going experience. Gender politics included, it’s actively harmful to how women are represented in film, particularly in superhero films. If that’s something you are ok with, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Whitney Weldon

The Reviews are In: Batman V Superman

BvS_ImaxYou wanna know the real difference between Marvel and DC? It’s not just that Marvel has consistently given us funnier, more heart-felt, better written films. (If only it were just that). It’s that I can’t shake the feeling that DC is making movies they think we want to see, while Marvel is making the movies they want to see.  Most Marvel films project a sense of joy and exhilaration that I’ve yet to see matched in one of their DC counterparts. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn’t even try to break that streak. It’s a movie that revels in it’s own joylessness, and like every other Zack Snyder movie yet made, any substance it might have gets overshadowed by it’s own style.

Dawn of Justice opens two years after Man of Steel laid waste to Metropolis and exposed the existence of square-jawed, steely-eyed aliens (Henry Cavill). It’s a new world, and not everyone is rolling with the changes. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) doesn’t trust Superman’sBVS-1 ostensibly good intentions, and makes it his mission to stop him before he can do some real damage.  Also trying to put the screws to Superman is Lex Luthor. The Man of Steel’s nemesis is played here by Jessie Eisenberg, who seems to think that the only things required for a compelling bad guy are facial tics and a few schizoid-style loose associations.

For a movie that’s supposedly about the struggle between Idealism and Realism, this movie has little of either. Even for a comic book block buster, there’s a mind-numbing over-reliance on CGI effects, so nothing feels grounded. We never get a sense of the “real” Batman-v-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-Wallpaper-HDworld that Bruce Wayne is trying to preserve. A fact that isn’t helped by the weirdly timed, totally nonsensical dream sequences (seriously, don’t ask). Meanwhile, Clark Kent’s trademark zeal for truth, justice, and the American way is slipping; in fact, Superman spends most of the film wondering whether mankind is worth the trouble of saving. By the end, it’s hard to remember why these good-doing dudes are fighting in the first place. And when they do finally settle their differences the moment has no impact, making their feud feel a little toothless.

It’s not that I’m prejudiced against DC. I just wish that, for once, they would start to measure their films in the depth and honesty of their stories and characters, rather than the number of times they make things go boom.

-Whitney Weldon

 

The Reviews are In: Gone Girl

gone_aMy attempt to read Gillian Flynn’s mega-opus Gone Girl was, at best, halfhearted. I like books that end in a marriage, not begin with the end of one. So when Gone Girl‘s film adaptation was announced I thought, “sorry Ben Affleck, but Jane Austen has gotten me this far”. That being said, I did in fact end up seeing this movie during it’s opening weekend. What can I say, what I lack in conviction I make up for in plenty of free time to see movies I previously determined not to see.

And you know what? I totally dug it. Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, the husband of missing Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). Suspicions fall to Nick because apparently most cops are overly familiar with Law and Order and he does, objectively, seem super guilty. And although the audience is clued-in pretty early, it doesn’t make the unfolding of events any less thrilling. And freaky. Think Double Indemnity meets American Psycho meets The Scapegoat. Clear as mud?

Affleck may be the the film’s biggest name but the real star here is Pike. For reasons I can’t explain without initiating a spoiler rosamundgonegirl_640pxavalanche, her performance as Amy is insane, in every sense of the word. This lady is by no means an angel, although we can see how capable she is of perpetuating that myth. Getting to watch the game of psychological ping-pong between Adorable Amy and Demented Amy is a reason in itself to brave going out into the balmy October clime to see it in theaters. Which I recommend, because fictitious or not, insulting Amy Dunne seems like a categorically bad idea.

Whitney

Fangirly Oscars Roundup!

Oscars-2013I’m feeling pretty good, gang.  Not only did I handily beat Whitney in our predictions, but I also won the Oscar pool at the party I went to last night, correctly guessing 15 of the winners.  Christoph Waltz and Ang Lee threw me, but I was able to pull it off in the end.

There are going to be naysayers out there (because there always are), but I thought this was a pretty good Oscars. Really, the only locks going in were Anne Hathaway and Daniel Day-Lewis, so it was refreshing to have actual anticipation as the winners were announced.

I have yet to read the reviews on Seth MacFarlane’s performance as host, but I thought he did quite well.  As I predicted, he paid much more reverence to the ceremony then people were expecting and possibly hoping.  Yeah, sure.  He had a song about boobs on film, but that is pretty reverent for Seth MacFarlane.  If anything, I was wishing for a smidge more edginess.  Knowing how big of a musical geek he is, I loved the Sound of Music bit.

I am going to give best speech of the night to Daniel Day-Lewis.  This may be unfair because was undoubtedly well-prepared, but he was eloquence and humility aided by a British accent that makes everything sound better.  Ben Affleck gets the runner-up because I am sucker for people saying sweet things about their spouses, which both he and DDL did with great aplomb.

What did you think of the big show?  How was Seth MacFarlane?  Too tame?  Too raunchy?  Any disappointments or surprises?

-Ellen

Awards by the Minute: Golden Globes

Join me, as I get angry, joyous, and ambivalent over the course of an entire award ceremony.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show0:00 Guys, not going to lie, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have a lot to live up to for this old girl.  But given how much I love them and anything that comes out of their mouths, I’m sure they will deliver.

0:01 Off to a great start: “Only at the Golden Globes do the beautiful people of film rub shoulders with the rat-faced people of television.”

0:02 When you run afoul of the Hollywood Foreign Press, they make you host this show two more times.

0:03 Ooooh, James Cameron burn goes over swimmingly and will probably be the edgiest burn of the night.  “I have not been following the controversy over Zero Dark Thirty, but I’m going to trust the lady who was married to James Cameron.”

0:04 Provin’ me wrong:  “Anne Hathaway, I have not seen anyone left alone and abandoned like that since you did the Oscars with James Franco.”

0:05 And the award for Joke only Liz Lemon could have written goes to: “The Hunger Games was one of the biggest films of the year, and also what I call the six weeks it took me to get into this dress,” “Ang Lee’s been nominated for Best Director for Life of Pi, which is what I’m going to call the six weeks after I take this dress off!”

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show0:05 Quentin Tarantino is coincidentally the star of all my sexual nightmares, as well Tina.  This is why I love her.

0:06 I loved Meryl Streep in The Flu, everyone is raving about it.

0:07 Also, it needs to addressed how smoking my ladies are looking.

0:08 They have to cut away from Lea Michele before she says something really bratty about Kate Hudson’s dress (which would not be completely unfounded). globes090-3_4_rx512_c380x510

0:09 Christoph Waltz gets Best Supporting Actor in a Film and I am actually someone surprised.  Everyone is saying Tommy Lee Jones is a lock, but Waltz’ performance is something to behold.

0:12 How did Hayden Pannetierre get nominated?  She is good at best. I was expecting less, so that is saying something.

0:13 Will Maggie Smith ever NOT win for Downton Abbey?

0:17 I have to admit, that mini-series and TV movie categories are always my blind spot, but I do want to see The Hour.  Shocker: Game Change wins.

0:21 Oh my gosh, please tell me that Amy and Tina are going to be sitting in the crowd all night as fake nominees.  Please, Golden Globes!

0:23 And here to remind a Hollywood that has become increasingly obsessed with musicals that she can sing: Catherine Zeta-Jones!

0:30 You can hear America tuning out as the HFPA president is announced, but she is actually quite cute and funny and hits on Bradley Cooper, so we have that in common.

0:31 Oh, hey, lifetime crush Paul Rudd.

damian-lewis0:32 I do not watch Homeland, but I love Damien Lewis so much from Band of Brothers and this really random adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing that he did, that I am always happy to see him win anything.  So charming.

0:35 Only Paul Rudd can make technical difficulties charming.  And apparently I need to watch Homeland.

0:42 Pretty cool that they got the real Tony Medez (Argo) there even if you couldn’t hear anything he said.

0:46 You guys, how adorable is Ang Lee?

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show0:47 Is there any way that Adele is not going to win this?  Not necessarily that she deserves it more, but just because she was Adele in 2012?

0:49 You guys, how adorable is Adele?  Really, though.

0:55 I don’t think it will happen, but Benedict Cumbatch SHOULD win for Sherlock.

0:56 YES! They are doing the fake nominees for all of the acting categories it seems.  This bodes well.  But NO! Benedict didn’t get it.

0:58 Of course, Bill Clinton gets a standing ovation at the Golden Globes.

1:01 “That was Hillary Clinton’s husband!” Amy would say that.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show1:02 Thank goodness we have SNL alum like Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig to liven this thing up.

1:06 Winners for best presenters of the night, so for, but probably for the night: Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig.  “YOU GET OUT OF HERE!”

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show1:07 Jennifer Lawrence’s really should mention that she beat Meryl because that is an achievement at the Globes.  And she is getting the award for most charming speech, so far.

1:13 You guys, how adorable is John Krasinski?

1:15 For award that is shocking no one: Anne Hatheway (but she does deserve it)70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show

1:17 You guys, how adorable is Sally Field?

1:24 Shocked by the love for Django Unchained.  Not that it is completely unfounded, just unexpected.

1:26 You guys, how adorable is Ewan McGregror?

1:28 In typical HFPA fashion, Don Cheadle wins just for being Don Cheadle and not for actually being a good show.

1:34  Arnold and Sly are BOTH pretty hard to understand.  Don’t take steroids, kids.

1:38 Homeland is sweeping.  Okay, I get it.  I’ll watch this stupid show.

1:45 Somewhat of a strange intro for the Animated Feature Film category.

1:49 All of my dreams are coming true.  Jason Bateman carried Aziz Ansari out on stage.

1:51 The Take That, Will Arnett Award goes to: Amy Poehler chatting it up with George Clooney when her name was announced.  I was dying.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show1:53 Amy should have won, but don’t get me started on the HFPA’s utter disregard for Parks and Rec

1:59 Warning Taylor Swift to stay away for Michael J. Fox is actually quite sage advice.

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show 2:02 Did anybody else feel out of the loop during Robert Downey Jr.’s presentation of Jodie Foster’s Cecil B. DeMille Award?

2:04 You guys, the glee that I had at seeing Bugsy Malone on Jodie Foster’s reel is unparalleled.  (Look it up, kids).

2:11 I’m sorry, but I don’t get why everyone was teary eyed by the end of Jodie Foster’s speech.  She seemed somewhat the manic, crazy person, no?

2:17 For Biggest F You to the Academy:  Ben Affleck for director of Argo, after not getting nominated for the Oscar.  (Don’t get me started.)

2:22 Loved Jimmy Fallon trying to push Jay Leno out of The Tonight Show.

2:23 The Award that Should Have Been Parks and Rec’s:  Girls for Best Comedy (Don’t get me started)

2:32 I really wanted Bradley Cooper to win Best Actor – Comedy or Musical.  He deserves as much praise as Jennifer Lawrence but is not getting it because he is in the same awards season as Daniel Day-Lewis.

jackman-3_4_rx3402:34 I am going to say this in the nicest way possible, but does anybody else find it incredibly endearing that Hugh Jackman’s wife is not as pretty as him?  Just an observation.

2:40 I wanted Silver Linings Playbook to win, but I am fine with Les Mis winning.

2:47 Middle-aged Clooney DOES make young Clooney look like garbage.

2:48 Yay! Jessica Chastain! She really does deserve it.  Her performance in Zero Dark Thirty was haunting, depressing, and exhilarating, all at once.

2:51 Once again, Daniel Day-Lewis’ win shocks no one, but he REALLY deserves it.  His performance is eerily intoxicating.

affleck-onstage-4_3_r536_c5342:58 When they were reading the announcements for Best Motion Picture – Drama, I realized that this one could go any way, but after Ben Affleck’s snub at the Oscars, I really wanted Argo to win… and I got my wish!  Highly recommend this one, most crazy intense movie experience I have ever had.  It took me a solid hour to come down from this movie.

3:00 Well, that’s it, folks.  I was “meh” about most of the winners, in that I wasn’t surprised by a lot, was pissed about others, but more often, I had wished that someone else had won, but was okay with who won.  This just makes me excited for the Oscars to see if they make me less pissed or more.  Probably less, because I get more enraged by the TV nominees.

– Ellen

Some Quick Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations Snubs and Surprises

Oscar NominationsIt’s that time of year again, people.  The Oscar Nominations were announced at the crack of dawn this morning by Emma Stone and host Seth MacFarlane.  I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and offer up some of my thoughts on the nominations:

  • A personal surprise to me was that I need to see very few movies to catch up with the nominated films and performances before February 24th.  Among those films is Amour, Life of Pi, The Master, The Impossible, and almost all of the animated film nominations.
  • Most shocking snubs have to be Ben Affleck (Argo) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) for Best Director.  Affleck’s showing was generally lauded by critics and seen as a sure bet.
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild was great.  I really did like it. But, I was a bit surprised to see Benh Zeitlin on the list.  As was he, from what I have read.  I think he was nominated in part for the performances that he was able to get from his actors including…
  • Quvenzhane Wallis!  I was pretty excited to see her among the nominees, even though she is considered quite a surprise.  Her performance was amazing for her age (I believe she was 6 at the time of filming) and she is just dag gum adorable.
  • I really liked Silver Linings Playbook and was happy to see it all over these nominations.  Cooper and Lawrence were sure bets, but De Niro and Weaver came as surprises to a lot of people.
  • Not a lot of people saw Django Unchained making it on to the list, but I was happy to see it there.  Adds some spice!

There you have it!  This year should be pretty good.  Not too many sure locks for the winners (which could change as we get closer to ceremony).  And judging from the nomination announcement, Seth MacFarlane is going to be quite the live wire as host.  Check out the video below for some of his and Emma Stone’s zingers.  I’ve also included the full list of nominations.

Ellen

Best Picture
Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Jacki Weaver, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Director
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Original Screenplay
Amour, Michael Haneke
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Flight, John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal

Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo, Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin,
Life of Pi, David Magee
Lincoln, Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell

Best Animated Feature:
Brave
Frankenweenie
ParaNorman
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Best Cinematography
Anna Karenina, Seamus McGarvey
Django Unchained, Robert Richardson
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski
Skyfall, Roger Deakins

Best Costume Design
Anna Karenina, Jacqueline Durran
Les Misérables, Paco Delgado
Lincoln, Joanna Johnston
Mirror Mirror, Eiko Ishioka
Snow White and the Huntsman, Colleen Atwood

Best Documentary Feature
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

Best Documentary Short
Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Redemption

Best Film Editing
Argo, William Goldenberg
Life of Pi, Tim Squyres
Lincoln, Michael Kahn
Silver Linings Playbook, Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers
Zero Dark Thirty, Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour, Austria
Kon-Tiki, Norway
No, Chile
A Royal Affair, Denmark
War Witch, Canada

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Hitchcock, Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane
Les Misérables, Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell

Best Original Score
Anna Karenina, Dario Marianelli
Argo, Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi, Mychael Danna
Lincoln, John Williams
Skyfall, Thomas Newman

Best Original Song
“Before My Time” from Chasing Ice, music and lyric by J. Ralph
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted, music by Walter Murphy; lyric by Seth MacFarlane
“Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi, music by Mychael Danna; lyric by Bombay Jayashri
“Skyfall” from Skyfall, music and lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
“Suddenly” from Les Misérables, music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Best Production Design
Anna Karenina, Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, production Design: Dan Hennah; Set Decoration: Ra Vincent and Simon Bright
Les Misérables, Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Anna Lynch-Robinson
Life of Pi, Production Design: David Gropman; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Lincoln, Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Best Animated Short
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head over Heels
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”
Paperman

Best Live Action Short
Asad
Buzkashi Boys
Curfew
Death of a Shadow
Henry

Best Sound Editing
Argo, Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn
Django Unchained, Wylie Stateman
Life of Pi, Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton
Skyfall, Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers
Zero Dark Thirty, Paul N.J. Ottosson

Best Sound Mixing
Argo, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia
Les Misérables, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes
Life of Pi, Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin
Lincoln, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkins
Skyfall, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson

Best Visual Effects
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White
Life of Pi, Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott
The Avengers, Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick
Prometheus, Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill
Snow White and the Huntsman, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson