The Sound and Music categories, often seen as ‘bathroom’ categories are going to give us some insight to the rest of the night if Birdman prevails in Sound Mixing and even more if it upsets American Sniper in Sound Editing. Sniper is ahead by the slimmest of margins in Sound Mixing but Birdman, in one of its many guild dominations, beat it at the CAS (Cinema Audio Society). It was an upset that clearly spoke to the Gold Rush Gang, who split down the middle, 5/5. Whiplash is a potential spoiler here, and the only ‘musical’ represented. Three of us (Alexander, Kenneth and Matt L.) have it in 2nd place so we’re watching out for that. In Sound Editing, American Sniper has a much more dominant lead, with all 10 GRG members choosing it to win and, collectively, Interstellar is the spoiler here.
For Original Score, the two frontrunners aren’t represented. Birdman didn’t qualify for its amount of previous material incorporated into the existing soundtrack (someone might have told the Academy about that when Babel won) and Boyhood didn’t have a score at all. That leaves the Golden Globe-winning The Theory of Everything and the BAFTA-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel to battle it out. While the latter is a great score and would give the 8-time Oscar nominee Alexandre Desplat a deserved win (can they please bring back separated comedy and drama scores??), it’s the gloopy, gloppy, syrupy score from The Theory of Everything that the Academy drools into their pudding cups over. Remember when The Red Violin beat American Beauty? TOE should prevail. But we’re not counting out Desplat’s other entry here, The Imitation Game to possibly eek out a win. It’s a super traditional, Oscar-y score and could play very well.
Selma‘s “Glory” has a pretty clear path to an Oscar for Common and John Legend but that could be simply virtue of the fact that the film was so horrifically snubbed. I don’t imagine snub factor will be too much of a decider with “Everything is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie. The real sneaky spoiler is “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me. With Campbell suffering from Alzheimer’s (a new Oscar theme?) and being closer in age to the average Academy member there could be a wealth of sympathy for him. The song just won the Grammy for Best Country Song earlier this month. But the film’s omission from the Documentary Feature shortlist before nominations may have killed its chances.