The number of movies still in contention for an Academy Award for Visual Effects has gone from 15 to 7 according to the LA Times. Fortunately Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen remains on the list. Some contenders removed include Watchmen, Sherlock Holmes, and A Christmas Carol. Remaining contenders:
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
- Star Trek
- District 9
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Terminator Salvation
The next step in the process is for the Academy's VFX panel to view 15-minute clips and vote on three as the official nominees for the award. The final three will be announced on February 2nd with the winner rewarded during the ceremony on March 7th. Avatar is a clear lock for one of the spots (and likely the award winner). My guess the final two spots are between Transformers: ROTF, Star Trek, and 2012.