a theatre, film & pop culture review
Did you hear that? That was the sound of the Academy bitch-slapping Drive with this sole, random nomination. Nicolas Winding Refn’s über-violent film may have the most unique and thrilling aural landscape of the bunch: though the title declares otherwise, Drive that doesn’t focus on the accelerations and gear-shiftings of car chases (though we have those too), but on revelatory moments between and about characters with coolly calming, ominous tones that hit harder than any punch. Despite this, one-time winner Lon Bender (Braveheart) and Oscar newbie Victor Ray Ennis will be going home empty-handed come February 26th.
Perhaps an even longer shot is Transformers: Dark of the Moon: despite all its super-high tech gadgetry and explosions, this ‘bot bloodbath really hasn’t a shot. Sorry, Ethan Van Der Ryn, but three times is not a charm.
As for the last three nominees, I’m honestly not sure who’s going to nab this award. While I would never be inclined to say War Horse, some folks think hit as a real shot with its galloping steeds, bombing airplanes and destructive tanks. And it certainly has the most pedigree behind it: three-time winner Richard Hymns and seven-time winner — yes, seven — Gary Rydstrom certainly aren’t slouches, and what’s more, they’re regular Spielberg sidekicks. The man knows how to pack in the super-techies which may garner his big war slash horse film its only honor of the night.
The Girl wit the Dragon Tattoo sounds as cool and desolate as it looks, thanks to Fincher favorite, Ryn Klyce: all gusty winds, creaking floorboards and clinking chains, we hear the loner Lisbeth as much as we see her. It’s got a solid chance, as I feel voters will want to give it something, but then again…
… there’s always Hugo (not quite as sweep-tastic as The Artist, but pretty darn close). Despite having zero Oscars to their names, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty may very well be the big winners for their bustling Paris station that’s all bells, whistles and trains chugging and clocks chiming.