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Oscar predictions: Wall of sound edition

February 23, 2012 |  6:00 am

Asa Butterfield and Sacha Baron Cohen in Hugo
The Envelope's Gold Standard columnist Glenn Whipp is sweeping through all 24 Oscar categories this week, predicting the winners. Here he peeks behind the wall of sound …

First, a few relevant facts:

(1) Even though its clang-clang-clang-went-the-robots sound design arguably ranks as the year’s best work, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” will not win either category. Too many voters simply pale at the mere notion of “the Academy Award-winning ‘Transformers’” to ever check off a box next to its title.

(2) Those “Drive” die-hards hoping its lone nomination will translate into a win? Not going to happen. “Bird” is the only movie in the past quarter-century to pull off that trick here, and Ryan Gosling doesn’t sound like Charlie Parker.

(3) War movies often win. Sports movies don’t, unless it’s “Grand Prix.”

So, with those things in mind …

SOUND EDITING

The nominees:

“Drive,” Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” Ren Klyce
“Hugo,” Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
“War Horse,” Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

And the winner is … “Hugo.” “War Horse” and “Dragon Tattoo” didn’t rate highly enough to earn nominations with the Cinema Audio Society, the sound professionals’ guild. CAS has been handing out awards for 18 years, and if you didn’t score a CAS nom, you didn’t win the Oscar. Simple. Factor in “Hugo’s” ubiquitous presence in the below-the-line categories and you have the likely winner.

Unless … voters’ inclination to equate cannon fire and ricocheting bullets with Oscar gold holds true and the “War Horse” team of Hymns and Rydstrom adds more trophies to already crowded mantels.

SOUND MIXING

The nominees:

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
“Hugo,” Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
“Moneyball,” Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, David Giammarco and Ed Novick
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Peter J. Devlin
“War Horse,” Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

And the winner is … The reflexive pick would again be “Hugo,” though the same movie has swept the sound categories just four times in the last decade. “Hugo” is actually strongest here since the mix category tends to reward prestige pics while editing digs the boom-boom-boom. If you’re determined to hedge your bets (we’re not), split your vote and pick “War Horse” over in sound editing.

Unless … Rydstrom will need another mantel entirely.

RELATED:

Oscar predictions: First up, score and song

'Hugo' wins tops honors at Cinema Audio Society

Oscar predictions: What's going to win the short film races?

— Glenn Whipp 

Photo: Asa Butterfield and Sacha Baron Cohen in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo." Credit: Jaap Buitendijk/Paramount Pictures.


 
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