I have a fetish for deafness. I’ve long tried to unpack this fetish for whatever psychological or sapiosexual clues it holds for my own psyche, but at about this time every year, I suspect the proclivity reveals nothing so complicated as my own jealousy over those who don’t have to spend any time whatsoever trying to parse the Academy Awards’ two—count ’em, two—sound categories. One alone would constitute the most boringest award of the evening. Two is just gilding the scentless lily. So here we are again, trying to remember just what, precisely, the difference is between sound editing and sound mixing, and wondering on top of that whether Oscar voters at large know the difference either. (Whatever the difference is can be found in the disparity between Drive, which is in this category, and Moneyball, which is in the other.) For the record, sound mixing is the sort of umbrella sound category, whereas sound editing represents the “special effects” angle of movie sonics.
You would think that would portend good things for this category’s most blatant demonstration of artificial sound, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, but the day voters put a tick mark next to that franchise is the day Dogtooth 2: Electric Boogaloo wins Best Foreign Film. Common sense says that any movie that’s not nominated in the other sound category doesn’t stand much chance here, even though that’s precisely what happened for Letters from Iwo Jima a few years back. Nevertheless, Oscar voters were cool at best on the hyper-cool Drive, and if they didn’t like seeing Albert Brooks stick a fork in it, odds are they also didn’t much care for the foley artist smashing that Casaba melon for the elevator scene. Which leaves the three Best Picture nominees duking it out. The slurping noises accompanying Lisabeth’s rape will no doubt defer to the 7.1 whiplash of equine panic in the valley of barbed wire, but both will probably end up getting steamrolled by the impending tech sweep of Martin Scorsese’s noisome film-history lesson. Go figure that silent cinema would creep into even this category this year.
Will Win: Hugo
Could Win: War Horse
Should Win: Drive