We could come up with a lot of complicated reasons that this, that, or the other film might have a shot at winning against the technological blue elephant in the room, but let's not pretend. Of the two sound categories, this is the one that favors artificially invented environments and sonic fabrications. Though the movie's headlines belong to its heady 3-D splendor, the fully engulfed aural environment of Avatar is every bit the triumph. It couldn't have been easy to invent a sound earth-shattering enough to suggest the destruction of a million-year-old tree. We'll wrestle a little bit more with the alternate nominees when we get to the more finicky sound mixing category, but until then, everything should be coming up Na'vi.
Will Win: Avatar
Should Win: Avatar