Thursday, February 27, 2014

LowRes 2013 Movie Awards: The Sounds

The 2013 LowRes Movie Awards: Best Trailers / Best Techs (Visual) / Best Techs (Audio) / Screenplays + Director / Supporting Actor + Actress / Lead Actor + Actress / Breakthrough + Cameo + Ensemble / Top 10 Films

20 Feet from Stardom
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
Upstream Color

Sound mixing, sound editing, all are welcome here. I was ultimately a sucker for the expert musical stylings in both Inside Llewyn Davis and 20 Feet from Stardom. I feel bad leaving out All Is Lost for similarly themed Captain Phillips (aquatic ambience) and Gravity (sounds in isolation), and I feel bad leaving out 12 Years a Slave because it's excellent. Finally, while I'm still not sure what's going on in Upstream Color, I know its purposeful vagueness was aided by some truly crafty sound work.

Thomas Newman - Side Effects
M83 - Oblivion
Steven Price - Gravity
Marcelo Zarvos - Enough Said
Hans Zimmer - Man of Steel

Kind of a bummer that Thomas Newman (whom I love) got nominated for the oatmeal-y Saving Mr. Banks score when he was much more worthy for his work on Side Effects (which I did not love). Similarly, I know everybody dumps on Hans Zimmer, but he had a pretty fantastic year in 2013, with super scores for 12 Years a Slave and Rush, in addition to what had to be a tall order in composing another theme for Superman in Man of Steel. While I love that Arcade Fire ended up with an Oscar nomination for Her, the pop act I'd have rathered see nominated was M83 for being the only worthwhile part of Oblivion not named Andrea Riseborough or Melissa Leo. The quiet charms of Enough Said were perfectly served by the perfectly underrated Zarvos. Finally, the bombastic work by Steven Price in Gravity is not everyone's cup of tea, but I found it incredibly moving and in keeping with the tone of the film.

20 Feet from Stardom
Frances Ha
Inside Llewyn Davis
Spring Breakers

For anything that isn't strictly an original score, it goes here. So the songs—and particularly the way the songs are delivered—in 20 Feet all count, as do the folk interpretations found throughout the sublime soundtrack to Inside Llewyn Davis. The other three nominees here did something special with song choices. The final scene in Gloria, with that eponymous song, was too spectacular not to honor somewhere. Same with the "Everytime" scene in Spring Breakers (not to mention all the Skrillex). Frances Ha manages to best them all, with a wall-to-wall fantastic soundscape, punctuated by David Bowie's "Modern Love."

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