Cinema Audio Society nominees

Posted by · 7:31 pm · January 7th, 2009

Cinema Audio Society awardThe five contenders for the 2009 Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Awards are:

“The Dark Knight”
“Iron Man”
“Quantum of Solace”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
“WALL-E”

So this is the second “Defiance” snub that has surprised me so far, following Eduardo Serra coming up short with the lensers earlier today.

“The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man” and especially “WALL-E” were certainly expected, but the show of support for “Slumdog Millionaire” indicates the deep industry love this film has going for it.  I wouldn’t necessarily expect this to translate to a Best Sound Oscar nomination, given the fates of films like “Finding Neverland,” “Crash,” “Babel” and “Into the Wild,” Best Picture frontrunners that scored with CAS but missed with AMPAS (though “Wild” is something of an anomaly there).

Then again, “Slumdog” is a much more craftily conceived piece of filmmaking than those efforts.  I thought the sound was amazing, personally.  So perhaps this could be the first year since 2003 that the guild matches the Academy’s picks 5/5.

The inclusion of “Quantum of Solace” is particularly interesting, though.  “Casino Royale” had a solid showing in the 2006 guild circuit, scoring with the art directors, costume designers, sound editors and even the visual effects artists.  But the mixers in the CAS gave it the cold shoulder where a lot of us thought the film had its best shot.  That the Society would tip its hat to the sequel is somewhat telling, I’d say.

With that in mind, I’d be tempted to predict this quintet for Oscar as well.  The only Edward Zwick movie to miss a CAS nomination and turn up in the Academy’s tally was “Legends of the Fall” in 1994.  So there is still hope for mixing legends (and branch favorites) Anna Behlmer and Andy Nelson.  But the duo also have two other contenders in play: “Australia” and “Cloverfield,” which might be leaving their colleagues with too many choices.

There are a number of other possible surprise nominees in the mix, all of them featuring respected sound mixing talent.  Add to the aforementioned “Australia,” “Defiance” and “Cloverfield” (my pick for the best work here in 2008) “Body of Lies” and “Valkyrie,” and you’re still looking at a number of possibilities.  And let’s not forget another Best Picture frontrunner, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” strong in this arena in a number of sequences.  But I would have expected a mention here if it was in the cards for Oscar.

Like I said, this is a smart list to bet on, with “Defiance” as the spoiler.




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13 responses so far

  • 1 1-07-2009 at 7:40 pm

    Blake said...

    Wall-E, The Dark Knight, and Iron Man are in for Oscar. I’d say the last 2 slots are between: Quantum of Solace, Slumdog Millionaire, Defiance, and Curious Case of Benjamin Button (the sound work in the war sequence was very strong). I’d say Curious Case and Quantum, but I’m likely to be off on at least 1 of those.

    Defiance, I think, has been seen by too few people. Poor reviews and very late release seems to have sealed its fate.

  • 2 1-07-2009 at 8:48 pm

    Speaking English said...

    “Benjamin Button” should really be included in the Oscar lineup, as well as “Australia” if they have room.

  • 3 1-07-2009 at 8:49 pm

    N8 said...

    Slumdog is a pleasant surprise, but I would have included Button over Bond. Hopefully the Academy will remedy that.

  • 4 1-07-2009 at 9:00 pm

    Sound Designer Dan said...

    From an audio perspective, Button is a lesser effort than Slumdog. Button’s sound design seemed a bit too sterile for me.

  • 5 1-07-2009 at 10:02 pm

    Patrick F said...

    Do you think people just don’t realize Defiance is elligable this year?

  • 6 1-07-2009 at 10:06 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No, they got the screeners, they know. They may just dislike the movie.

  • 7 1-07-2009 at 10:19 pm

    michael mckay said...

    Who knows what the Academy may embrace, but right now, Australia, Revolutionary Road, Indiana Jones, and Defiance sure aren’t getting much love.

  • 8 1-08-2009 at 3:42 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Benjamin Button will be in the final five, possibly even Tropic Thunder. But perhaps Quantum of Solace is a better option. I´m not sure, always a nasty category this one.

  • 9 1-08-2009 at 3:45 am

    Glenn said...

    Kris, as technically good as the sound work on “Cloverfield” was, didn’t you find it quite strange that we’re meant to be experiencing this event as if it’s being filmed on a home video camera and yet it has perfect crystal clear surround sound?

  • 10 1-08-2009 at 6:41 am

    Ben M. said...

    If the much loved Casino Royale can’t get any nominations, something tells me that Quantum won’t either and we will see something else (like Defiance, Coverfield, Button).

    I expect the other four to show up at oscar, after all if Slumdog is indeed the frontrunner it might well grab some surprise nominations and I think its nom here over Button is telling of its strength.

  • 11 1-08-2009 at 8:05 am

    Matt said...

    Cloverfield will be snubbed just like 300… it was simply too long ago to resonate in the minds of voters.

  • 12 1-08-2009 at 9:08 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Glenn: Frankly, I never thought of that. I think you just blew my mind.