Best Sound Predictions

SOUND EDITING

Current Predictions (10-12-11):
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Super 8
Real Steel
War Horse
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Sound Editing Notes: The difference between the sound categories is a tenuous and difficult to define line. Basically Sound Editing relates to the aural construction of the sonic pieces where as Sound Mixing refers to the literal sonic quality of those pieces. Obviously, they relate closely, if inextricably. This year offers a dynamic range (no pun) of sound films that span across multiple genres.

My wishful thinking side would love to see the creative work in Warrior and The Tree of Life honored. Both films are sound rich with some scenes literally being dictated  by their aural experience. Neither film prefers loud, bassy sounds over smaller, textured ones so I doubt either will stand out. Don’t be surprised if one of these does get in though. If they do, it will likely be in Editing over Mixing.

Sight unseen (save a few scenes without sound) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo looks like it might be the token artistry vote this year. I have a feeling the sound will be dynamic, just like Fincher’s work always is. This has the potential to be loud and present enough to get the attention of voters. Look for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to get into Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

The safest predictions over 2011 is that the winner of both sound awards will come from a picture directed and/or produced by Steven Spielberg. With the Oscars having a distinct potential to be a Spielberg love-fest, the sound categories will get a lot of the drainage. The Adventures of Tintin will fulfill the Academy’s love for honoring Animated film sound (understandably).  Super 8 was big and loud and gets the Ben Burt “everything can sound like a laser” vote this year. I was quite unimpressed with Super 8’s construction but its aural quality was quite strong. I think voters will be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

War Horse will likely exceed our aural expectations with a balanced interplay between realistic battle sounds, soaring Williams arrangements and, of course, horse noises. I anticipate War Horse winning this category just as Saving Private Ryan, Letters from Iwo Jima, etc. did. This category loves war movies and rightfully so. War Horse will need to fall hard to lose out.

Real Steel may also be a bit of wishful thinking. I thought the sound had compelling and dutiful construction. The sounds were precisely placed to effectively communicate a world put forth by CGI robots. I’m not sure I ever really buy CGI robots as being real robots but unlike Transformers, Real Steel gave its robots a specific aural flavor. If a film about robots has to be nominated, please make it Real Steel.

Good bets:
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Super 8

Strong Possibilities:
Real Steel
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Hugo
Cars 2
War Horse
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Rango
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Maybe but Doubtful:
Captain America: The First Avenger
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Wishful Thinking:
Warrior
The Tree of Life

Bad Bets:
The Artist
Thor
Battle: Los Angeles

SOUND MIXING

Current Predictions (10-12-11):
Super 8
War Horse
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

Best Sound Mixing Notes: Look for a significant amount of double-dip between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing this year, especially with the lack of no major musical contenders. Generally these awards will be shared unless there’s a film like Ray that displays a superior sound quality without necessarily standing out in regards of Editing.

I think Hugo might have a better shot here than in Editing. It has the look of being a sweeping film with top-notch visual scope. I suspect sound will be no different.

Again, the Spielberg trio of Tintin, War Horse, and Super 8 are on display. Super 8‘s sound helped suspend its world in tension from beginning to end. I wasn’t crazy about some of the sound choices but I do feel like I entered a different world, one that sounded similar to my own by slightly different. No surprise if Super 8 winds up winning this award since Abrams’ team has been recognized before for Star Trek. If War Horse hits big then this category is an easy victory. I have a feeling that’s exactly what will happen.

Again, I’m predicting The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo gets the honorary “relatively artistic” nod in this category. If the film doesn’t catch fire then this slot could really go to anyone. No telling what impact Tattoo will have until it actually sees the light of day. However, I’m no more certain about this film than I am some of the others. This category is really very up in the air.

Good bets:
Super 8
War Horse

Strong Possibilities:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hugo
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
The Artist
Cars 2
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Captain America: The First Avenger

Wishful Thinking:
The Tree of Life

Bad Bets:
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Thor
Rango
Real Steel

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