The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon
The classic choice for this category is Well-reviewed, loud summer blockbuster. The Transformers movies have always had all but the first criterion. As I said under visual effects, I find this third in the series vastly more tolerable than the first, but it's probably too late in the game for voters to come around to Michael Bay.
Drive seems like the sort of movie that ought to be a contender here -- movies with vehicles have done well over the years, from Grand Prix to Speed. But (ironic, given the title) there probably wasn't enough pure driving in the film for voters to glom onto it. And the omission of Albert Brooks, with all his critical heat, confirms my suspicion that Academy folk were put off by the violent last-reel and simply didn't like the picture.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo might surprise us in the sound categories -- if it's not a blockbuster, it's at least a hit, and reasonably well-regarded. Maybe it'll be a middle-of-the-pack compromise.
But most people seem to think this is between the two veterans' films. War Horse has some explosions in the trenches, but not as many as I was expecting; much of the film is quite bucolic, which doesn't seem the sort of thing to win votes. Hugo, on the other hand, is big and boisterous, but I can't really remember a whole lot of sound engineering. Possibly, though, it will be seen as simply an overall technical marvel, and pick up support on that basis.
I'm truly torn on this one; I could imagine any of the last three winning. I'll probably end up marking Hugo in the end, but I'm quite open to opposing views.
For the films of 2011
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