Categories One-by-One: Sound Mixing

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Mister Tee
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Categories One-by-One: Sound Mixing

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:00 pm

The nominees

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
Moneyball
Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon
War Horse

The difference between this category (which used to be more obvious when it was called “Achievement in sound”) and sound editing (which was clearer labeled “Sound effects”) is, while the latter category virtually always goes to a loud action movie, this one only usually does…occasionally opting for a musical, or the more subtle sounds of a best picture contender.

Thus, I’d say Transformers is an even weaker contender here than under sound editing – which is to say, it has no chance.

I don’t know if War Horse is weaker here if it loses sound editing, or stronger. Maybe you can make a case that the ways in which it resembles a best picture candidate from 1953 help it in this slot in a way that its battlefield scenes can’t enough to carry the day under sound editing. My instinct is, people just don’t really like the film in general, and will not be looking to award it anywhere – but here might be the more likely spot for success.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, though, might do better here than under sound editing. Its use of sound – including the silent sounds of the desolate landscape – is of the more understated variety this category can prefer. I give it a dark horse chance.

Moneyball seems like a bit of an interloper in the category, but somehow that makes me take it more seriously. I’d certainly make a case for its use of sound -– the ambient sounds of the locker room; the overlapping dialogue among the scouts; the heightened sounds on the ball field. But I also think it might belong to that small group of non-action films that is selected here for quality (All the President’s Men’s win in ’76 comes to mind as analogy). Moneyball got 6 nominations, and I’m wondering if that makes it a more potent force going into Sunday night than it’s seemed to many people.

But I guess the favorite, again, is Hugo – certainly it’s what most people appear to be predicting. It would be a perfectly acceptable winner, I suppose – and maybe voters are feeling, since they’re denying the film in the big categories, they’ll load it down with minor prizes. But I don’t feel it as any kind of sure thing here. This is a spot on my ballot I may change repeatedly over the next few days.

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