While Vin Diesel famously opined that Furious 7 was a Best Picture contender in the making, the action-packed sequel wasn’t exactly one of the best films of the year. However, the movie did deserve Oscar consideration, just not in the category Diesel was thinking. The production was struck by tragedy when star Paul Walker was killed in a car accident during a break from filming. Director James Wan, the film’s producers, and Universal convened to decide exactly how to proceed—and even if they should proceed. Eventually, after some heavy script reworking, production resumed and the film was completed as a tribute to Walker, with the ending changed significantly from a setup for the inevitable Fast & Furious 8 to a loving sendoff to Walker.
But completing the film with Walker absent was no easy task, and the movie’s visual effects team was given an assignment that had never been done before. Through effects wizardry they were able to seamlessly give Walker’s character a full arc without distracting from the performance, and speaking the Yahoo! Movies, Wan expressed his dismay at the film’s Oscar snub for Best Visual Effects and also Best Original Song:
“I thought we were guaranteed to get a nomination. One was for the song, and the other one was for the visual effects. Furious 7 would not have been able to be completed if it wasn’t for the amazing team that got behind it and finished all the visual effects. There were all these other great movies, but the movies that were nominated, I’ve seen all that stuff before. But we have never seen a movie where we took someone who was no longer around and kept him alive. Literally. So that was one that I felt cheated on.”
He’s not wrong. The visual effects on display in Furious 7 were nothing short of magnificent, and while Star Wars: The Force Awakens is all well and good, I’d say crafting a convincing human performance is more impressive than animating weird creatures or space battles. As Wan says, the team literally accomplished something that had never been done before, and that alone was worth at least a nomination. And yeah, the emotional “See You Again” should’ve won an Oscar too.
What do you think, folks? Do you agree that Furious 7 should’ve been a serious Oscar contender? Any other snubs you’re still reeling from? Sound off in the comments below.