Much like cinematography, this category seems to be between Life Of Pi and Skyfall. However, I think that this category is a little harder to call. I do want to send a shout out to Wreck-It Ralph, seeing as how in animated films, every sound effect from explosions to footsteps has to be created from scratch. But with that said, let’s take a look at the category of best sound editing.
Our first nominee is Argo, which confuses me. I think that the film’s sound design has much more to do with the mix. But hey, cheers for subtlety. Despite the fact that Argo is the likely winner for Best Picture given all of it’s guild awards, I think the sound effects are far too subtle to catch the academy members ears.
The next nominee is Django Unchained. You know, It’s been a while since the academy honor a Western. True Grit, while scoring ten nominees, failed to win a single award. While this film has a better shot at winning Original Screenplay (more on that award another day.) This is another case of Mr. and Mrs. Subtlety popping up in sound design. And yet they stay far away from fanfiction for some reason. I wouldn’t count on it.
But now, the trial begins! The case for Life Of Pi? It’s the most well-liked film. And the sound editing is quite good, too. Seeing as how the majority of the film’s script is relatively dialogue free, (Pi LOOKS at the OCEAN. The tiger ROARS.) the sound branch has plenty to work with. In fact, the main sound designers actually won this award last year for Hugo. And the film managed two sound awards from the MPSE recently. So, I’d say that Life Of Pi has a very good chance at winning this.. but..
The case for Skyfall? The sound editing is hands down the year’s best. To a true Bond fan, it feels like time has never passed. Every explosion, every gunshot, every push of a button is like an event that keeps you invested until the very end. It’s all magnified to it’s upmost degree and goes hand in hand with the action perfectly. True, it’s not a Best Picture nominee, but Skyfall is the kind of action movie that is supposed to win oscars. And sound editing is one of the few categories that any Bond film has ever won. It won the main award at the MPSE, and it gets my vote, but seriously, toss a coin.
Oh, yeah! Zero Dark Thirty is nominated, too! While not exactly subtle, the sound effects are shadowed upon by the excellent mix, and it makes me wonder how many academy voters even know the difference between these two categories. (Didn’t Transformers 2 get nominated or mixing?)
Will Win: Skyfall
Runner’s Up: Life Of Pi
Should Win: Skyfall