The Oscar Picks pt. 2–The Techies

OK, folks—on to the nerd categories!

 Here’s to all those who slave behind closed doors, editing boards, and boxes of doughnuts:  We lift our glasses to you:


Achievement in visual effects
“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney): John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

I’m gonna go with “Transformers” on this one.  Lasers always beat pirates.



Achievement in sound mixing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal) Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney): Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane
“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate): Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

My pick here is “Ratatouille.”  I could make up a reason why, but I’d just be kidding myself.


Achievement in sound editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal): Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney): Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Christopher Scarabosio and Matthew Wood
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Hands down, who will win and who should win is the folks on “No Country.”   Good stuff.  Very sparse and specific with no fat.  Sound drove this story and made it the suspenseful trip it was.  That beeping receiving thingie in the hallway?  How creepy was that, as it got louder and faster?  Loved the sound in this movie.  How often do we get to take notice and say that?


Achievement in makeup
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
“Norbit” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount): Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney): Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

I don’t care who wins this, but if there is a God in heaven, “Norbit” will not win an Oscar.  Please, don’t let this happen.  I can’t live in a world where this happens.

I’ll go with “La Vie en Rose.”  Or “Pirates.”  Any one of them.  Please.


Achievement in film editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal): Christopher Rouse
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Juliette Welfling
“Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment): Jay Cassidy
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Dylan Tichenor

Hmmmmm….a bit of a tough one, here.  Good nominations this year, all told.  Not sure who should win, but I’m gonna go with “Bourne Ultimatum.”  Those movies don’t get nearly enough credit.  Always really solid and better than any other big picture/thriller/effects movie that it faces.  Maybe some credit is due here.


Not sure if this belongs in this “techie” post, but, here are the nominees for:

Achievement in costume design
“Across the Universe” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood


“Across the Universe.”  Creativity rarely get rewarded in this category.  It almost always goes to a period piece, as if “costume construction” wins over “design.”  “Universe”‘s Albert Wolsky has been a standard in both film and theatre for quite some time, working with Fosse and Woody Allen.  His work on this film gave it much of the visual energy that made it a pretty great flick.


“Atonement.”  See above.

Random Trivia:

Costume Design was separated into 2 categories: Black & White and Color until 1957.


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