Oscars Week: Sound and Visual Effects

Today, in another round of combined categories, we speculate on who should win in a range of technical awards. Admittedly, this is when I do the dishes; I prefer film that are quiet and presented on film stock, while these awards are reserved for blockbusters like The Lord of the Rings trilogy or Avatar. This year I find myself unexpectedly invested, thanks to the quality of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mad Max.

And the nominees for Achievement in Sound Mixing are:

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

And the nominees for  Achievement in Sound Editing are:

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

And the nominees for Achievement in Visual Effects are:

  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Some years find one film will sweep the technical awards. Yet, for Sound Mixing, I think The Revenant is deserving, while Star Wars should win for Sound Editing, and Mad Max must win for Visual Effects. The Revenant‘s early fight scene was a masterpiece of sound. While a frantic Leonardo DiCaprio tries to survive an attack from the Native Americans there is a volley, a kaleidoscope!, of sound. The terrifying scene, like much of the film, was a fully immersive experience, due in no small part to its sound.

And while Mad Max was also excellent with sound (and Star Wars had great effects!) the digital artistry that brought the film to life can not be volleyed with praise enough. The effects are so seamless that it’s almost hard to believe that it wasn’t shot as it happened. How fantastic that they created that dust storm, we’d all think! But these side-by-side images show the detail and effort that went into creating the world of Max. I am always the first to turn up my nose at VFX but Max is a movie even I cannot deny.

Make sure to check out all of our Oscars Week picks!

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