Sunday, February 15, 2015

'Birdman' Complicates Sound Mixing Race with CAS Win

In a busy guild evening that also included the WGA and the MHG, The Cinema Audio Society announced their picks for the best mixed soundtracks of the year last night. While the former two guilds decided on winners that basically align with the current pundit logic of who will win the respective Oscar categories for writing and makeup (The Imitation Game, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and possibly Guardians of the Galaxy), the CAS has thrown the Best Sound Mixing contest for a bit of a loop.
Birdman, with its artfully arranged sonic subtleties and crazy guild momentum, bested its louder competitors (and fellow Oscar nominees) American Sniper and Interstellar. Alejandro G. Inarritu's backstage dramedy is clearly the industry favourite overall, primed to claim the Best Picture Oscar in a week's time, but it would just make such an atypical winner in this field. Even Hugo had more conspicuous sound work.

I think I'll stick with my gut for now on American Sniper winning both sound prizes, but it's worth noting that Clint Eastwood's war drama, though it made a strong showing with guild nominations, has yet to win a single industry prize this season. That may change with tonight's MPSE Golden Reel Awards, but if it gets blanked there....

.... I just don't know, man. Who is the next most likely sound winner in lieu of American Sniper? Does the superficial bombast of Interstellar earn default votes? Does the scintillating, BAFTA-winning jazz soundtrack of Whiplash win on merit despite lacking a sound editing nomination? Or does general love for Birdman make it the most unusual (though not undeserving) winner this category has seen in decades?

I guess we'll see.
In the animated category, Big Hero 6 beat out odds-on Oscar favourite How to Train Your Dragon 2 and the industry-adored LEGO Movie, this only ten days after sweeping the VES Awards as well. Does Disney have a better shot at going back-to-back in Best Animated Feature than we realize?

1 comment:

  1. Is this literally becoming the hardest-to-predict Oscar race in history?