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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Sound Mixing

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

Surviving Operation Dynamo would have been a snap compared to having to write about both sound categories for many years in a row. And while I, as a result of having to return to this particular well so many times, probably know about as much the difference between the two categories as your average AMPAS voter, there have been times where that knowledge has frankly been a liability when it comes to predicting the eventual winner. Maybe less so this year, since for the first time in the five-nominees-per-category era, both sound mixing and sound editing nominated the same five films. In the past, sound mixing has been the category where musicals have over-performed against ricocheting bullets and rolling explosions. So Baby Driver would have already been a strong pick as our spoiler here even had it not taken the Association of Motion Picture Sound award. And it would delight us and wouldn’t necessarily surprise us if the film, which dances from speaker to speaker just like music does from Baby’s earbuds, pulls it off. But there’s something about that loss La La Land suffered last year against the indescribably loud Hacksaw Ridge that feels like a terrain-altering sea change for this category. The slates match, and we’re betting the winners do too.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Sound Editing

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

If ever a film is made about Slant’s rolling Oscar coverage, laurels will surely be given to the sound editors who had to convey the blood-curdling magnitude of the hissy fits that Eric Henderson and I throw every year when trying to dodge—or, rather, slap our way out of—having to write about this category. Last year, when this burden was also foisted on me, I obligatorily mentioned that the average Academy member probably can’t tell the difference between sound mixing and sound editing, and that when they’re caught between a show tune and so much sturm und drang, they know where to draw the line in the sand. I then called the race for Hacksaw Ridge, the nominee with the sounds that were, well, the mostest, only for Arrival, our favorite, to persevere. Baby Driver, which recently won the Association of Motion Picture Sound’s mixing award, rolls up to this party as a serious threat in both sound categories, though perhaps less so in this category that tends to favor films that are also best picture nominees. Which means that this is the recent Cinema Audio Society-winning Dunkirk’s to lose.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Visual Effects

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

20th Century Fox

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

As they say, the third time’s the charm. Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes both earned visual effects artists Daniel Barrett, Joe Letteri, and Dan Lemmon nominations in this category, and all three (along with Joel Whist) are nominated here for War for the Planet of the Apes, the ostensible final film in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series. We called this race for Rise of the Planet of the Apes way back in 2012, underestimating that Hugo, which isn’t without its own fair share of impressive visual effects, would benefit from the “prestige” factor that comes with being a best picture nominee. We learned our lesson, and four years later we rightfully called the race for Interstellar, as it was the most nominated film in this category. There is, then, a case to be made for Blade Runner 2049, which enters the Oscar race with five nominations and is a strong competitor in at least three of them. But there’s a reason why War for the Planet of the Apes both outperformed Blade Runner 2049 at the box office and at the Visual Effects Society Awards, as the photorealistic effects that dominate Matt Reeves’s pop masterpiece set a bar so high that not only is it impossible to imagine it being cleared any time soon, but they make the FX work from Rise of the Planet of the Apes seem like it’s from the Ray Harryhausen era. While it’s worth noting that the VES Awards previously gave their top prize to the first two films in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, it’s difficult to imagine AMPAS not wanting to give Andy Serkis’s swan song as Caesar a pat on the head for a job well done across the three films.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Original Score

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Score

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Score

At 48 years old, Jóhann Jóhannsson tragically died last week. A still-flourishing talent in the field of movie scoring, Jóhannsson was nominated twice for an Oscar, and we predicted that he would take the trophy for his work on The Theory of Everything. But that he lost his second bid for his brilliant work on Sicario to Ennio Morricone, who at 87 years of age and on his sixth nomination was finally given his due, points to the tendency for this category to withhold making endorsements that only Rip Van Winkle would characterize as hasty. Which explains how John Williams earned a record-extending 51st nomination this year, and for now the fifth time lightly reworking his leitmotifs for the Star Wars franchise.

Dubai International Film Festival 2017 A Gentle Creature, You Were Never Really Here, The Message, & More

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Dubai International Film Festival 2017: A Gentle Creature, You Were Never Really Here, The Message, & More

Wild Bunch

Dubai International Film Festival 2017: A Gentle Creature, You Were Never Really Here, The Message, & More

Even if this paradox applies to a great many film festivals, the notion of flying halfway across the planet to sit in a dark room and watch movies is especially pronounced in Dubai, where little is more than a few decades old, island formations are exploded to resemble Qu’ranic verses, and office buildings look like spaceships retired into the ground at 90-degree angles.

On December 6, a short drive from the canyons of high-rises making up the city-state’s turbocapitalist business district, elites and journalists assembled at the Souk Madinat—a beachside network of malls, restaurants, and luxury hotels connected by artificial seawater canals—for the opening night of the 14th Dubai International Film Festival. Tributes were tendered first to both Patrick Stewart and Cate Blanchett before the kickoff of Scott Cooper’s Hostiles, about a bigoted U.S. cavalry officer (Christian Bale) tasked with escorting a Cheyenne war chief named Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) from New Mexico to his original territory in Montana.