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Morricone

As I get ready to wind up my Oscar Blitz and we count down to the ceremony on Sunday, let’s check in on the categories I’m least able to judge, shall we?

The nominees are…

Music (Original Score)
Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: The Hateful Eight. It is hard to see anyone besides Ennio Morricone taking home this prize. The fact that someone like John Williams is nominated for so many mediocre scores (fifty nominations total!) and Morricone has only been nominated six times and never for his work with Sergio Leone is some kind of crime in and of itself.

Should Win: The Hateful Eight. In addition to the sentimental factor, this is a brilliant score and totally deserves the win (though, much like the film, it’s a little bit all over the place). Speaking of sentiment, I was not a huge fan of Carol, but the opening theme below is probably the piece of music that has most stayed with me this year.

Should Have Been Nominated: I think the Academy mostly got this category right. Personally, I might have replaced Bridge of Spies (yawn) with something more interesting and experimental like Ex Machina or the dreamy minimalism of Warren Ellis’s score for Mustang, though I suppose the score for Sicario, which was pretty darn brilliant, takes up that “unusual” spot.

Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sound Editing means assembling and/or creating all the sound elements you hear on screen (dialogue, incidental sounds, sound effects, etc.). In general, the films in this category are more effects-driven than other films, or often have particular set challenges.

Will/Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road. The Revenant is probably the only competitor here, but I have a feeling Fury Road will prevail. The sound editors essentially started with an almost silent film and built from there.

Sound Mixing
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sound Mixing means balancing the sound elements assembled by the sound editor along with the score. In essence, deciding what and how much of each element the audience hears.

Will/Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road. Again, I think that the Academy will want to reward the craft that went into Fury Road wherever possible. I hope they do more than that, but I’ll save that for another post. If The Revenant (the next odds-on favorite in both sound categories) wins only one of these, I’d bet on this one.

Now you might ask yourself, where is the Original Song category? Yeah, it’s not here, because I really wish they would do away with that farce altogether, especially their inclusion during the ceremony. I would much rather see twenty minutes of film clips than performances of songs that often don’t even have anything to do with the film. That said, Lady Gaga better take home the prize over that horrendous James Bond song.

What were your favorite musical movie moments of the year? Let me know in the comment box below.

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