I still rue the day that I thought it was a good idea to turn this into an award category. I’m in no way qualified to judge sound quality in films, so let’s just get this over with shall we.
- The Avengers: The Avengers is probably the noisiest movie of the year, and that makes it distinctly qualified to have its aural merits noticed by me. Lots of explosions and shit popping off all over the place in multiple directions.
- Cloud Atlas: What’s interesting about Cloud Atlas’ sound mix is that it manages to be consistent even while it cuts between the six different stories. That could have easily led to an aural mess with the volume levels jarringly going up and down as the film swaps between quiet and loud scenes, but instead it manages to seem natural throughout.
- The Grey: All the other nominees here had the benefit of having been seen by me in top of the line theaters. This sound mix, on the other hand, managed to impress me even though I was listening to it through the crappy speakers on my TV. The wolves various howls and snarls really add to the film’s tension.
- The Hobbit: The sound quality in The Hobbit was almost disorienting because it sounded really smooth and normal, unlike the visuals which were being actively distorted by the film’s ridiculous 48 FPS presentation. Beyond that it’s about as noisy as The Avengers so, yeah.
- Zero Dark Thirty: While many of these other films were nominated because of how loud they were, I nominated Zero Dark Thirty because of how quite it could be. Things seem really calm and subdued in this movie… until it stops being quiet and things explode. Also, those silenced rifle shots in the Abbottabad scene sounded pretty sweet.