Sun. Sep 20th, 2020

Cinema Audio Society Predictions: American Sniper or (the Unexpected Possibility of a Birdman Win)


The Cinema Audio Society Awards are this Saturday and we have some predictions on who’s going to win Best Live-Action Sound Mixing. The nominees are: American Sniper, Birdman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar and Unbroken. The Oscar nominations for Sound Mixing are the same with Whiplash replacing Guardians of the Galaxy.

We’re looking at American Sniper to take this but looking very closely at Birdman as the spoiler. While Sniper has over-performed with late guild nominations, Birdman has over-performed with guild wins. There’s probably a case to be made for Interstellar, and other Oscar predictors on the web are putting it in 1st place, but Christopher Nolan films have never won anything from the CAS. The group didn’t even nominate his biggest film ever, The Dark Knight Rises (neither did the Oscars, for that matter). Most recently, Inception lost out to True Grit here. Interestingly though, it went on to beat that film at the Oscars. There might be a chance here for Interstellar but that film has underwhelmimg both critically and at the box office and, despite its nominations in this category here and at the Oscars, was at the center of complaint and controversy over its sound mix in theaters. Let’s take a look at the last five of years of the Cinema Audio Society vs. the Oscars for comparison.

CAS vs Oscars

Not a bad matchup, four in five years. But it’s the win for The Hurt Locker that feels closest to a potential win for American Sniper in terms of type of film. Granted, at the time The Hurt Locker was the Oscar frontrunner for Best Picture, which American Sniper is not. Maybe American Sniper is Lone Survivor; nominated at both and losing at both. Of the CAS nominees only Birdman falls into that category (Boyhood isn’t nominated here or for Sound Mixing at the Oscars) and it’s mix of dialogue, voiceover and jazz soundtrack could put it over the top here. In that case I would say Birdman feels a bit like Hugo and could perform like it here.

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