Sorry, it's a little ridiculous that "Man of Steel" — I don't care WHAT you think of the film otherwise — was left off the Academy's list of seven bake-off finalists for Best Visual Effects. But these things are often about politics, and I imagine there was plenty of that at play here.

(No, it's not simply a collective negative opinion about the work in the film. Not always.)

Everything else we were predicting to be nominated made the cut. Others notable misses, though, include "Rush," "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," "The Great Gatsby," "Oz the Great and Powerful" and "Ender's Game." I personally think "This is the End" should have at least made it this far but, again, effects house politics.

Check out the 10 films up for five slots below. I'm not sure yet what takes the vacated spot. Maybe "Star Trek Into Darkness." Maybe "Oblivion." But we all know where this Oscar is going at the end of the day. And with that in mind, I wish I had thought of Steve Pond's headline before he did: "Academy announces 9 films that 'Gravity' will beat for the VFX Oscar."

"Elysium"
"Gravity"
"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
"Iron Man 3"
"The Lone Ranger"
"Oblivion"
"Pacific Rim"
"Star Trek Into Darkness"
"Thor: The Dark World"
"World War Z"

The Academy's Visual Effects Branch Executive Committee determined the shortlist. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be invited to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films on Thursday, January 9, 2014. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate five films for final Oscar consideration.