Monday, February 26, 2018

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Sound

The competition: Baby Driver (Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H. Ellis), Blade Runner 2049 (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth), Dunkirk (Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker and Gary A. Rizzo), The Shape of Water (Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern and Glen Gauthier), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Stuart Wilson)

Previous winners: Hacksaw Ridge, Mad Max: Fury Road, Whiplash, Gravity, Les Miserables, Hugo, Inception
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!

The facts: Hemphill has eight previous nominations, with one win for “The Last of the Mohicans.” Barlett has one previous bid and Ruth has two. Landaker has eight previous nominations, with three wins, for “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and “Speed.” Weingarten has three previous nominations and Rizzo has one. Parker has eight previous nominations, with wins for “The English Patient” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.” Semanick has ten previous nominations, with wins for “The Return of the King” and “King Kong.” Wilson has four previous nominations and Klyce has three. “Dunkirk” defeated all these other nominees aside from “Blade Runner 2049,” which wasn’t cited, at the Cinema Audio Society Awards.

Who should win: These are all superb choices. “The Shape of Water” would probably be my last choice only because so many other elements that overwhelm the sound. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was cool but my basic understanding of these categories should put the emphasis on sound editing there instead. “Baby Driver” smoothly incorporated music into its chase scenes and nearly every other scene as well, which is a feat. “Dunkirk” was an aural achievement which would be perfectly deserving of this win, though I’d probably opt for “Blade Runner 2049,” which used its sound as an optimal, critical part of its dark experience.

Who will win: I’m torn between “Blade Runner 2049” and Dunkirk, but I think it’s safer to choose the latter.

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