Saturday, 15 January 2011

Oscar Talk: Sound

 Sound Editing, Sound Mixing – were there a poll I think I’d bet money that this is the category that non-cinephile Oscar watchers (are there any of those, though?) understand the least. I’ll just add a few notes to the already lengthy bits of pieces I’ve seen trying to explain. One’s about the individual sounds – the effects, if you will and the other’s about the overall sound scheme – everything blending together like the sound effects, the score, dialogue. I hate that there’s always talk about joining the two categories – just because the they’re glamorous doesn’t make them any less valuable. Truth is, I’m terrible at predicting this particular category – I know what I’d go for, but no idea what the voters would want (I stull don’t understand the snubs for Sweeney Todd and Coraline).

On the note of sound editing I suppose that something like Inception would be a lock and I’ll add in 127 Hours because Slumdog Millionaire made it here – and I didn’t understand that nod, either – 127 Hours would actually make sense here. Pixar might get a token animated nod which would mean Toy Story III turns up here. Beyond that, I scratch my head – so I’ll say Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows and Alice in Wonderland.

Predictions: 127 Hours / Alice in Wonderland / Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows / Inception / Toy Story III

The sound mixing is where you could get a high-profile film like Black Swan showing up, the sound was an important part of that – and since there’s often crossover I expect Inception and Toy Story III to get in here. I’d Shutter Island here because I still don’t think they’ll ignore it very good technical achievements and I’ll add 127 Hours, the sound IS overwhelming – but it’s good.

Predictions: 127 Hours / Black Swan / Inception / Shutter Island / Toy Story III

Does it seem like I bring up Scott Pilgrim vs the World everywhere? True, it’s not my favourite film but I think the sound is easily the best technical thing about it – even more than the visuals. Who knows? Maybe they’ll get the chance to contend here, I’d also suggest The Ghost Writer and Robin Hood – the latter, especially. But who knows, I’ll probably be surprised whatever happens.


TomS said...

For a long while, Sound was only one category: Best Sound. So if there's talk of the categories combining, there is a long precedent. "Everything old is new again!"
You are right, this is a diffficult category to figure out. Usually there is a level of difficulty that seems to propel a film to a win: explosions, sounds of natural disasters, complex musical numbers, etc.
It's likely that voters are privy to certain problems that were solved during the recording or dubbing, and this informs their votes.
Definitely one of the least understood categories.

Robert said...

I agree with you again - Scott Pilgrim had amazing sound! I hope it pulls a surprise in this category. All those little sound effects were so well put together and what with all that music and fight sounds you'd think it's a flashy sound piece.