I know I'll get criticism for banding these two categories together, but it's simply a time constraint necessity.....I still have 16 movies to watch to hit my goal of 41 of the 57 nominated, AND I'm trying to finish sewing a geeky refashioned outfit for the Project Sewn sewalong, so two big deadlines this week. Hence, banding of two categories that have the word 'sound' in them.
Though this year, more than most others I remember, there's more crossover of the two categories - 4 movies are nominated for BOTH Best Sound Editing AND Best Sound Mixing.
Sound is huge for me watching movies. I'm a broadcast journalist and a huge part of my training at university was training me to hear more effectively. It's ruined radio for me.....I'm constantly distracted when I hear interviews with humming computers in the background, or that have dropped-in lines recorded in more echoey hallways.
One thing it did benefit me with is knowing the difference between sound editing and sound mixing (so, sorry again for banding them together). My lecturers told me that sound editing is collecting all the ingredients (capturing existing sounds or creating new ones etc) and sound mixing is making the broth (getting the balance right between all the sound effects, dialogue, score etc). That's a very loose definition but does.
In an ideal world, I would have watched every single one of the Oscar nominated movies in a cinema with the correct surround sound to evaluate them properly. I didn't. But luckily I made myself get out to see what will win both sound editing and sound mixing: Gravity....it wins on its use of silence alone, let alone everything else they developed.
I'm so glad I saw it in the cinema for the proper 3D experience and for the sound, because they designed it to be viewed and heard this way. Watching it at home on a tv, or ipad etc is not going to help us understand how amazing the sound design is for this movie.
This video, if you have time to watch some or all or it, explains why Gravity's going to win in these two categories:
I'm not going to talk anymore about Gravity or Captain Phillips as complete movies here because I'll do that later this week in the 'Best Picture' post. And I told you what I thought of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug yesterday. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to see Inside Llewelyn Davis or Lone Survivor although I have heard an excellent review and recommendation of the latter from a friend, and I've read that IF the Academy Awards for Sound could be given on best breaking bones effects falling down a hill, it would win.
But I do want to big up the Sound work (hoho) in All Is Lost....and recommend the movie as a whole. All Is Lost is one of the MANY movies I've watched in the last month and a bit without really wanting to and then being pleasantly surprised. I didn't think I ever wanted to see another survival movie after 127 Hours (though that surprised me too). But I started watching All Is Lost after bailing on the deadly boring Before Midnight (which I'll tell you about in the in Adapted Screenplay post) with not much hope.
But Robert Redford and sounds of this movie are mesmerising. I couldn't stop watching. As there are virtually no lines of dialogue in this movie, the sounds we hear are those that Our Man (the main character, Redford) hears, and they are mighty powerful. I could rave about them for ages but won't.
However here's a video if you do want to know about All Is Lost and its fascinating sound editing, (it's not up for sound mixing, and I think that's fair enough, I found when music was used (it's not for much of the start of the film) it was way too noticeable and intrusive, and one of the ways I work out if I value an effect, sound or visual is if it blends in and you don't notice it with out searching it out).
I'll shut up now. Watch this is you're interested in sound use, evolving, capture etc, I find it fascinating, but as you know, I'm weird.
To sum up:
Best Sound Editing Oscar will go to: Gravity
Movie I'll be rooting for: All Is Lost....though I know it winning is a lost cause. Sorry. Bad pun.
Best Sound Mixing Oscar will go to: Gravity
Movie I'll be rooting for: Gravity
Stars I gave to each movie on IMDB (for the film as a whole not just this category):
All Is Lost ★★★★★★★★ 8
Captain Phillips ★★★★★★★★★ 9
Gravity ★★★★★★★★★ 9
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug ★★★★★★★★ 8
Lone Survivor - didn't get to see
Inside Llewelyn Davis - didn't get to see
The movie I'd tell you to watch if you could only choose one: Captain Phillips
Next categories up the Live Action and Animated Shorts, both available On Demand, on iTunes etc from today..... and I'll have a big round up of my picks (and those that will actually win) on Sunday afternoon.