27 Days of Oscar, day 26: Foreign Language Film, 13 Hours, Sully, Sound Mixing/Editing


Where do I even begin. Let's start with something exciting. My piece on Best Foreign Language Film is up at Awards Daily. I hope that you will check it out. There is some really interesting stuff in there from my interviews with the directors. I was able to talk to everyone but Farhadi.

Oscars' Foreign Language Film Nominees

With "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" I finished out the Sound Mixing category. Before I get to that, let me say that this was by far the worst nominated film I've seen. Dick and no homo jokes, a "retard" joke, super sugary sentimentality. A "bossy" woman who is constantly put in her place eventually seeming to hit on one of the men who belittles her. She even falls down. Just terrible.
There are some nice cinematography moments, but considering the bad writing and acting, it really can't save this film from itself, although it isn't quite boring although its all action and too long. Worst of all, John Krasinski is terrible. It really is a piece of garbage. And readers of this site know that I rarely talk in those negative terms.

I also watched "Sully," finishing out the Sound Editing category.  Clint Eastwood's best movie in quite some time. (Although I did not see "Jersey Boys.") Unlike "13 Hours," and "Deepwater Horizon," Eastwood has crafted a touching film full of drama but surprisingly unsentimental. It is a quiet film, which could be why it didn't survive the long year to make it into any other categories.  If you haven't seen it, check it out.

Now, let's forget about that and simply look at the categories.

BEST SOUND MIXING

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

I've been reading so much that musicals often win this award, but wanted to check it out for myself. Here are the big musicals from the last 16 years. Nominations in bold, winners noted. I'm sure I missed a few, but I did my best.

Traditional musical:
"Into the Woods"
"Les Miserables" (won)
"Burlesque" 
"Enchanted"
"Sweeney Todd"
"Hairspray"
"The Producers"
"Nine"
"Dreamgirls" (won)
"Chicago" (won)
"Moulin Rouge"
"Dancer in the Dark"

Here are the movies with music:
"Straight Outta Compton"
"Ray" (won)
"Walk the Line"
"August Rush"
"The Artist"
"Country Strong"
"Begin Again"
"Whiplash" (won)

Not the slam dunk everyone is saying. Neither "The Artist" nor "Into the Woods" were nominated. But then again, "Les Miserables" used live singing as did "La La Land." I think that's the real clincher. It's not the musical necessarily but perhaps the live ones?

There really is no argument to make here though. This has to go to "La La Land." 

BEST SOUND EDITING

Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

This was the category that could have prevented "La La Land" from tying the record. Looking at the MPSE Sound Editors award doesn't help. "Hacksaw Ridge" won its category and "La La Land" won its category. 

There have been years when one film took both awards. 2015 (Mad Max), 2013 (Gravity), 2011 (Hugo), 2010 (Inception). With all of those films it's impossible to deny the overall technical mastery.
Will "La La Land" be that film? It's so hard to read the tea leaves on this one. But I'm going with "La La Land" with "Arrival" and "Hacksaw Ridge" as spoilers.



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