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Best Sound Editing
The difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing can be a difficult one, but in the most basic terms, sound editing analyzes the actual sounds of a film, such as the practical sound taken on set and the sound effects, while sound mixing looks at how well all the sounds are put together with the music and the dialogue.

Inception
Great action = great sound, and Nolan is great at technical awards.

Toy Story 3
Pixar is always a contender, but almost never a winner in this category. It was a crying shame that Wall-E didn’t take this award home with it (the entire movie was made out of sound effects!) and Toy Story 3 doesn’t boast nearly the amount of impressive sound as that one.

Tron: Legacy
Much like the original, the sound effects for this film makes the audience feel as though they’re in a video game, but unlike the original, there aren’t enough moments in the games or fleeing the master programmers to make this sound truly great.

True Grit
A shoot em up western would be a great contender here, but True Grit gets more out of its silences than it does out of its sound.

Unstoppable
The runaway train groans and grunts like a monster, completely personified by the sound effects in this film.

What Will Win:
Inception. It’s one of the biggest action movies of the year and the sound awards tend to favor these. But with a little luck, something could surprise and come through…

What Should Win:
Unstoppable. It’s definitely the underdog here since this is the film’s only nomination, but the sound effects escalate this movie from a simple, no brainer popcorn flick, to an enjoyable action film by making the runaway train it’s main character.

Posted on February 21st, 2011 by Jess | Comments Off on 2011 Oscars: Best Sound Editing
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Best Original Score
I love film scores- they can evoke not just moments from the film, but the emotions as well.  The best film scores will stick with you, so years to come when you hear a snippet you can still pinpoint the movie.  If you can’t recall the scores from the nominees, iTunes is a great place to listen to the samples and remember (I had to with a few of the entries this year).

127 Hours
Danny Boyle always chooses his music well and while I couldn’t remember the score exactly offhand, a second listen was all I needed to remember how fantastic it was.  It captured Aron’s energy and emotions throughout the film.  It slows down for a rare, sweet moment of sun for Aron, then picks up for the dream sequence and during the final scene to convey the anxiety and urgency he is feeling.

How to Train Your Dragon
This had a great score, with a sweeping and epic theme, like so many great family movies before it.  With it’s fairy tale, action packed style it reminds me of Hercules, with a little bit of Celtic music thrown in to capture the viking’s spirit.  It’s truly grandiose and spectacular, but nothing original.

Inception
Now this score was both original AND epic.  No second listen was necessary to remember the booming, intimidating notes of this summer movie’s theme.  Borrowing and slowing down an Edith Piaf tune to weave through the score conveys the tragic romance that lies at the heart of the film.

The King’s Speech
A second listen on iTunes reminded me of this films both touching and, at times, playful score.  But the piece of music I remembered most from this film was actually not part of the original score, but a Beethoven symphony that is played as King George delivers his speech.

The Social Network
This score stuck with me like no other did this year.  From the soft, singular piano notes that play as we see beauty shots of Harvard’s campus, paired with the deep, booming notes warning of the conflict to come, to the faster, electronic music that plays as we are introduced to the final clubs, every note was executed perfectly.  It’s so creative and a breath of fresh air to a category where sometimes the nominees can all start to sound alike.

What Will Win:

The Social Network.  In just three solid notes, you are whisked back to a Harvard dorm room, Jesse Eisenberg’s face illuminated by the soft glow of his computer as his fingers clack away on his keyboard.  Plus, the Academy will think they’re being hip by awarding Trent Reznor an Oscar (Remember Three 6 Mafia?)

What Should Win:

The Social NetworkInception and 127 Hours are close runners up this year, but while their scores are just great, Reznor’s score is iconic.

Posted on February 14th, 2011 by Jess | Comments Off on 2011 Oscars: Best Original Score
Filed Under Entertainment

This morning at 5:30 am et, the Oscar nominations were announced! Here they are…

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale (The Fighter)
  • John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
  • Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
  • Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)
  • Jeremy Renner (The Town)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams (The Fighter)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
  • Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
  • Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)
  • Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)

Best Actor

  • James Franco (127 Hours)
  • Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
  • Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
  • Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
  • Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)

Best Actress

  • Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
  • Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
  • Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
  • Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)

Best Animated Film

  • The Illusionist
  • Toy Story 3
  • How to Train Your Dragon

Best Director

  • Darren Aronofsky
  • David O. Russell
  • Tom Hooper
  • David Fincher
  • Joel & Ethan Coen

Best Picture

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

Continue reading for more categories…

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I recently watched the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi thriller Inception, and I honestly have no idea what it is about. Dream invasion and manipulation? Mind-f#&$ing? Visually it looks amazing, and it is Nolan, so I’m there. A few new character posters have been released. This first one features Leonardo DiCaprio…

Inception

And this next one is of Joseph Gordon-Levitt…

Inception, Christopher Nolan

The rest of the film’s stellar cast includes Ken Watanabe, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Sir Michael Caine.  What do you think about the posters? Excited about Nolan’s next flick?