Tuesday, February 21, 2012

LowRes 2011 Movie Awards: The Sounds

The 2011 LowRes Movie Awards: 25 Amazing Moments / Best Trailers / Best Techs (Visual) / Best Techs (Audio) / Screenplays / Supporting Actor + Actress / Lead Actor + Actress / Breakthrough + Cameo + Ensemble / Top 10 Films

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Super 8

My incremental appreciation of the ins and outs of movie sound continues to creep forward. Hanna made sure menace never sounded more than a few steps away at all times, while Super 8 kept things natural and dreamlike at once. Rango had a lot of fun with its menagerie of lowly desert creatures squeaking and jangling and (in some cases) screeching along. M:I - GP was all about that cracking glass and power-upping gloves on the exterior of the Burj Khalifa. And the kicker in this category is definitely Dragon Tattoo, featuring the coldest sounds I've ever heard whipping around the inside of a movie theater.

The Chemical Brothers - Hanna
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Alberto Iglesias - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Cliff Martinez - Drive
John Williams - War Horse

Eligibility for Oscar be damned, there was some great work done by composers this year, in cutting-edge electronic work like the Chemical Brothers brought to Hanna, or the heavy atmospherics in Dragon Tattoo, or how Martinez set the table so nicely for Drive imported '80s feel. Iglesias put a fun, un-showy spin on the paranoid spy score. And honest to God, I thought the score for War Horse was old-fashioned, rousing, beautiful stuff. All movie music manipulates in one way or another, and War Horse did its work with fat, lush strokes. I wasn't complaining.

Higher Ground
Young Adult

I got a chance to write on NPR about my preference for an evolved music category at the Oscars that recognizes films that brilliantly blend orginal and classic music in ways that are undeniably creating something new. Drive is kind of the perfect example of that, with its sleek and showy '80s aesthetic. Shame took pieces of old scores to set a cold and almost barren downtown Manhattan (plus that poignant usage of "New York, New York"), and Melancholia did similar shaping work with classical pieces. The church songs picked for Higher Ground were illuminating ("How Great Thou Art" was worth reprising at the end), and the songs young Corrinne and Ethan composed as teens were pitch perfect. And I really loved the subtlety of the early '90s grunge songs underscoring Mavis's attempted trip back in time. "It's a Shame About Ray" explains SO much.

1 comment:

David said...

I'm digging your tops until now, but not one mention of The Artist? I'm sad...