The Technical Categories
Best Art Direction
The Artist-Laurence Bennett and Robert Gould
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2-Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan
Hugo-Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo
Midnight in Paris-Anne Seibel and Helene Dubreuil
War Horse-Rick Carter and Lee Sandales
Who Will Win: Laurence Bennett and Robert Gould-The Artist
Recreating the Hollywood of the late 1920s/early 1930s isn’t an easy task. Still, bringing back that period along with dazzling set pieces for some of the movies made for the film do add a special quality that pays tribute to the silent film era. Notably the staging for the dual dance scene between George and Peppy as it’s among the best set pieces for the film.
Who Should Win: Anne Seibel and Helene Dubreuil-Midnight in Paris
Recreating 1920s Paris in the 21st Century with old toys, objects, and all sorts of things give the film a magical feel that isn’t seen in a lot of films these days. From the cars of the time and the way it contrasts to the look of modern-day Paris. It reveals the beauty that is Paris while utilizing other locations to link the past and present as it’s definitely a highlight in terms of its technical feat.
Dark Horse: Stuart Craig and Stephanie McMillan-Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2
With the exception of the Gringotts vault and the secret tunnel from the Hog’s Head, there isn’t very much that fans haven’t seen before other than Hogwarts in complete ruins. While the work is great and the Harry Potter franchise should’ve gotten more attention for its technical work. It’s not likely that it will win anything.
The Artist-Guillaume Schiffman
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Jeff Cronenweth
The Tree of Life-Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse-Janusz Kaminski
Who Will/Should Win: Emmanuel Lubezki-The Tree of Life
When working on a film for Terrence Malick, it’s always the cinematography that is often mentioned as Chivo’s work for this film pretty much tops everything else he did including his previous collaboration with Malick in The New World. Utilizing available and natural light, the work Chivo provides for the film has an ethereal quality that is unlike anything that is out there in film. Beauty is an understatement to describe what Chivo has done as it truly radiates a look that is exquisite and hypnotic.
Dark Horse: Guillaume Schiffman-The Artist
The work of Guillaume Schiffman is timeless for its black-and-white cinematography by recreating the look and feel of silent film cinematography with more modern look in its presentation. While it’s the only nominee that is shot entirely in black-and-white, Schiffman is definitely the underdog as the competition he’s facing are names that are top guys in the cinematography field.
Best Costume Design
The Artist-Mark Bridges
Jane Eyre-Michael O’Connor
Who Will/Should Win: Mark Bridges-The Artist
Bridges’ work in the costumes is definitely a highlight of the film from the tuxedos and suits that are worn for the time as well as the stylish, snazzy dresses and gowns the women wear. Bridges creates costumes that reflect a certain period in time that is reborn for the 21st Century as it is definitely the front-runner in this category.
Dark Horse: Arianne Phillips-W.E.
The least known film among what is nominated, the costumes that Arianne Phillips create for the 1930s/1940s period section of the film definitely has a gorgeous look to complement the fashion taste of Wallis Simpson. Yet, it’s a film that is meant to be beautiful with another section set in the late 1990s which received a large brunt of the criticism.
Best Film Editing
The Artist-Anne Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants-Kevin Tent
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Who Will Win: Thelma Schoonmaker-Hugo
Thelma Schoonmaker is among one of the best editors working today and her work in this film is no exception. Playing to the rhythm of the action while creating dazzling montages of the early days of cinema. Schoonmaker plays up to the sense of magic and majesty that Martin Scorsese wanted for the film as it’s a true contender for the prize.
Who Should Win: Kevin Tent-The Descendants
Kevin Tent’s editing in the film is very playful to the different array of cutting styles used for the film. From a few transition wipes, jump-cuts, fade-outs, and dissolves, Tent creates a film that plays with the rhythm and tone of a family comedy-drama. With its unconventional approach to rhythm as well as not going into the typical stylistic cuts of most dramas, Tent creates a style that is truly fun to watch.
Dark Horse: Anne Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius-The Artist
The editing that director Michel Hazanavicius and Anne Sophie Bion create is in tune with the style of the silent films with the use of fade-outs and rhythmic cut that play up to the music as well as the dramatic portions of the film. In comparison to its other nominees, it’s the least remarkable film in terms of its editing although the work they did is still noteworthy.
Albert Nobbs-Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston, and Matthew W. Mungle
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2-Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight, and Lisa Tomblin
The Iron Lady-Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
Who Will/Should Win: Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland-The Iron Lady
The makeup work to capture Margaret Thatcher from her glory days to her post-political career emphasize a woman’s rise and fall. Notably as she is a picture of grace and power in her years as prime minister to the weariness of her post-political life as she is lost.
Dark Horse: Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston, and Matthew W. Mungle-Albert Nobbs
The makeup work to make two women into men is a daunting task as it allows these women to cut their hair and have a certain way the faces look. While it’s a period film that requires characters to have a look in contrast to the period. It’s the least likely to win because its work is weak in comparison to its nominees.
Best Sound Editing
Drive-Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-Ren Klyce
Hugo-Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
Transformers: Dark of the Moon-Ethan van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
War Horse-Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom
Who Will Win: Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom-War Horse
While it’s a film that is part-war film and part-animal/human drama, it’s got the tools for an ambitious, sweeping project which includes a big war scene. It’s the war material that will get the notice for the way guns are sound and cannons are fired. It’s pretty much the idea of what sound editing is.
Who Should Win: Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis-Drive
The sound editing in Drive is among the highlights of the film from the car chases and revving of its engine to the more violent moments that occurs in the film. Particularly in the way it plays with the film’s soundtrack and Cliff Martinez’s chilling score. It is among some of the most exciting approaches of sound work to play up the drama and suspense that occurs in the film.
Dark Horse: Ethan van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl-Transformers: Dark of the Moon
There’s not really much to say other than it’s just nothing more than lots of sound of robots beating each other up and buildings being destroyed. There’s nothing really new or exciting about it. It’s just blah, blah, blah.
Best Sound Mixing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Bo Persson
Hugo-Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Moneyball-Deb Adair, Ron Bachar, Dave Giammarco, and Ed Novick
Transformers: Dark of the Moon-Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Peter J. Devlin
War Horse-Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson, and Stuart Wilson
Who Will/Should Win: David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Bo Persson-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The sound mixing/design work of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo helps set the mood for the suspense and atmosphere in the location that occurs throughout. Notably with the way a motorcycle sounds including the chilling scene where Mikael Blomkvist uncovers a mystery with a very strange piece of music that is played in that scene.
Dark Horse: Deb Adair, Ron Bachar, Dave Giammarco, and Ed Novick-Moneyball
While it’s a baseball drama that requires a lot of work to capture the right mood of what full baseball crowd would sound. Dramatic features, particularly sport dramas, are the least likely to get any commendation though the sound work is quite remarkable.
Best Visual Effects
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2-Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Bugler, and John Richardson
Hugo-Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman, and Alex Henning
Real Steel-Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor, and Swen Gillberg
Rise of the Planet of the Apes-Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White, and Daniel Barrett
Transformers: Dark of the Moon-Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler, and John Frazier
Who Will/Should Win: Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White, and Daniel Barrett-Rise of the Planet of the Apes
In the work of capture-performance, the art form is stepped up for this film as actor Andy Serkis helps out in making an ape become more lively and display emotions that hadn’t been done in computer-based motion-capture. It is often stated that the visual effects and Serkis’ performance is the highlight of the film as the visual effects team should receive the recognition it deserves.
Dark Horse: Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor, and Swen Gillberg-Real Steel
It’s another typical action movie where robots fight robots but unlike the vast work that was done in the Transformers movies. The work in this film seems very typical of the blockbuster action films and there’s nothing new about it that really warrants any kind of recognition.
Best Original Score
Ludovic Bource-The Artist
Alberto Iglesias-Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
John Williams-The Adventures of Tintin & War Horse
Who Will/Should Win: Ludovic Bource-The Artist
Ludovic Bource’s work is definitely one of the key elements to the success of the film as it plays throughout the film’s entirety. There’s lots of dazzling, upbeat orchestral pieces that plays to the period of the time and is always fun. The dramatic pieces Bource makes also has a flair in the arrangements as it’s definitely a great film score.
Dark Horse: Alberto Iglesias-Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Alberto Iglesias is among one of the best score composers working today as he brings a very suspenseful yet dramatic score for his work on the spy drama. It’s definitely one of Iglesias’ score though his competition is very tough as he’s facing some very worthy opponents.
Best Original Song
Man or Muppet from The Muppets-Bret McKenzie
Real in Rio from Rio-Sergio Mendes, Carlhinos Brown, and Siedah Garrett
Who Will/Should Win: Bret McKenzie-Man or Muppet from The Muppets
Who cannot enjoy this song about a man and a Muppet singing about who they are? Best of all, it’s one of the most memorable songs of the film that is written by a member of Flight of the Conchords. It’s dramatic and funny as it’s definitely a very entertaining song.
Dark Horse: Sergio Mendes, Carlhinos Bronw, and Siedah Garrett-Real in Rio from Rio
While it’s a very exotic and rhythmic song that plays to the world of Brazil. The only thing that will keep it from winning is the fact that’s only competition is a song from the Muppets. After all, the fact that only two songs are selected is an indication of how clueless and dismissive the original songs category has become.
Well, that is all until the actual ceremonies happen where all sorts of things will come to play and such. As usual, no predictions on the shorts because no one really pays attention to them nor does anyone really care about the shorts. Until then, we’ll just wait to see on who wins and loses at the Oscars.
© thevoid99 2012