Oscars 2019 Predictions – Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing

With the 91st Academy Awards now less than two weeks away, over the coming few days we will be taking a look at the films that have been nominated. The ceremony has already had its fair share of controversy and, for the first time in three decades, will be held without a host. However, the golden statuette has lost none of its prestige or reverence, and each category will be as hotly contested as ever.

89th Annual Academy Awards - Backstage

Best Sound Editing

Will win: A Quiet Place
Should win: A Quiet Place
Also nominated: Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, Roma

As its title suggests, in first-time director John Krasinski’s debut it is silence that takes centre stage. Of course, whenever stillness is given so strong a focus, greater emphasis is always placed on what little sound does feature. Had any element been not quite right, had any note been off, the film would simply not have worked. Though the sound work on First Man and Bohemian Rhapsody will also be in close contention here, they are not as intrinsic to their films as the sparse, minimalist sound of A Quiet Place and therefore don’t quite reach the same heights.

A Quiet Place

In a film predicated on silence, it is the rare moments of sound which take the limelight.

Best Sound Mixing

Will win: A Star is Born
Should win: A Star is Born
Also nominated: Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, Roma

There are numerous parallels that can be drawn between A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody. Perhaps the most obvious is that, in both, pivotal moments take place on the middle of a concert stage. Bohemian Rhapsody, quite understandably, allows Freddie Mercury’s vocals to soar above a roaring Wembley crowd in its final scenes, but what A Star is Born achieves is something far more difficult and new for cinema. When Lady Gaga blasts the bridge from Shallow, or when Bradley Cooper hits the searing opening guitar notes of Black Eyes, it is a completely immersive experience. Music performances on screen are not uncommon, but feeling that you are actually there in that moment is something few films have achieved before. Without detracting from the other nominees in the slightest (the sound editing in First Man is also worthy of note), there is only one rightful winner in this category.

A Star is Born (Sound) 2

The immersive sound editing of A Star is Born achieves something rarely seen (or heard) on screen before.

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