Categories One-by-One: Sound Mixing

Sabin
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Postby Sabin » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:42 pm

I feel the same way, and never include this category when doing my own yearly favorites. But once again, because Avatar is such an overall towering technical achievement, it will prevail here.

I agree. Which is why there is no need for Best Cinematography when we already have Best Picture.
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Damien
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Postby Damien » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:29 pm

I remember years ago some newspaper film critic handicapping the year's Oscars and when he got to Best Sound (as it was then called) he said, "I never understood this award. As long as I can hear the dialogue, the sound is good enough for me."

I feel the same way, and never include this category when doing my own yearly favorites. But once again, because Avatar is such an overall towering technical achievement, it will prevail here.
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Sabin
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Postby Sabin » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:17 pm

Music + SFX + Dialogue + ADR + Background Noise + Foreground Noise = Sound Mixing.

Slumdog Millionaire, The Bourne Ultimatum, Dreamgirls, King Kong, Ray, The Return of the King, Chicago, Black Hawk Down, and Gladiator.

Songs factor into Slumdog, Dreamgirls, Ray, and Chicago heavily and all but Slumdog were not nominated for SFX. I don't think this precedent for victory plays heavily with these nominees.

I don't think Inglourious Basterds has much a chance of winning, nor Transformers as it was not nominated for Best Sound Effects and Lord Knows would stand a better chance of winning there. Star Trek has a better chance because it is mixing as many "things" as Transformers but with more clarity. But I think this is between Avatar and The Hurt Locker.

I think the closest precedent set of these is King Kong to Avatar. A pulsing score, tons of Sound Effects, moments of quiet, and lots of hardcore action sequences. The Hurt Locker finds precedents in The Bourne Ultimatum and Black Hawk Down. Ultimately, those two films had much larger budgets. Budget certainly isn't a deal-breaker, as The Hurt Locker cost about as much as Slumdog Millionaire, but I think this is probably Avatar's to win.

Avatar -- 45%
The Hurt Locker -- 30%
Inglourious Basterds -- 5%
Star Trek -- 15%
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen -- 5%
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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:44 pm

I'll stick with The Hurt Locker on this one.
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Postby The Original BJ » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:34 pm

Oscar geek point of note: last year marked the first time ever that the Sound awards went to two different films that were BOTH nominated in the other sound category. In other words, voters differentiated between these two categories to an even greater degree than they had before.

But I don't think that'll happen this year -- Avatar definitely fits the bill of films which snag both sound trophies. (Though, to be fair, the amazing sound work in The Hurt Locker offers tougher competition than a lot of those winners faced.) But in the end, I think this is another tech prize for Avatar.

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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:28 pm

Okay, let's tackle the OTHER sound category.

The only slightly different set of nominees:

Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers 2: Whatever They Call It

I prognosticate without benefit of seeing the Transformers sequel, figuring that, if the mildly-tolerated first film couldn't win (with most of the blogosphere staging a pity party for the sound designer), chances for the loathed sequel must be sub-zero.

Star Trek is, once again, along for the ride, wondering what might have been in a non-Avatar year.

Basterds once again seems unlikely, given the credentials of the Big Two.

Not enough noted Oscar fact: last year Slumdog Millionaire won the category -- the first movie since The English Patient to triumph seemingly solely as part of its best picture sweep. (Other best picture winners have taken the prize, but they also met the category's standard criteria -- music, for Chicago; loud action, for Gladiator or Return of the King) Could Hurt Locker extend the trend? Especially since, as noted under sound editing, Hurt Locker has some credentials -- the explosions, of course, but also the unnerving use of dead air as Renner approaches his bomb-disarming tasks. I think the film has a real shot here, stronger than under sound editing.

But you can't discount a phenomenon like Avatar. Big action hits that are, thanks to critical approval, seen as something particularly special -- Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Speed, Titanic, The Matrix, The Bourne Ultimatum -- have a tendency to pick off both sound awards. (The Dark Knight was a rare exception in being held to one) It's very close, but I think in the end I'm going to have to mark my prediction ballot for Cameron's crew once again.


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