Oscar Preview: Sound Mixing
A category-by-category look at the Oscar crafts shootMore often than not, this category mirrors sound editing, so expect to see repeat appearances by "WALL-E" (Ben Burtt/Tom Myers/Michael Semanick), "The Dark Knight" (Lora Hirschberg/Gary Rizzo), "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" (Christopher Scarabosio/Andy Nelson) and "Quantum of Solace" (Mike Prestwood Smith/Mark Taylor).
However, there tend to be a few subtle differences, the most notable being that smaller, more sonically subtle films stand a better chance of being recognized (e.g. "Ray," which won in 2005). That said, this year's strongest "small" contender -- and biggest surprise -- may be "Slumdog Millionaire" (Richard Pryke), which assaults viewers with a bold, exotic, in-your-face, Bollywood-style mix. The film also stands an outside chance of earning a nomination for Glenn Freemantle and Tom Sayers in sound editing.
This category also tends to favor musicals, which bodes well for "Mamma Mia!" (Michael Barry/Dominick Tavella/Michael Minkler) and maybe even Disney's "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" (Terry Porter/Dean A. Zupancic). But if a film geared toward younger viewers is going to be recognized, it's likely to be "Kung Fu Panda" (Anna Behlmer/Cory Mandel/Andy Nelson).
Unfortunately, this category is unlikely to feature an appearance this year by Kevin O'Connell, the Susan Lucci of sound Oscars, who has been nominated on 20 occasions and lost every time, most recently for last year's "Transformers."
Next: Visual Effects