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Tom Hooper's musical adaptation "Les Misérables" picked up its first industry award win of the season (save the SAG prize to Anne Hathaway) tonight. It won the prize for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for live action motion pictures at the 49th annual Cinema Audio Society Awards. Production mixer Simon Hayes, re-recording mixers Andy Nelson and Mark Peterson, scoring mixer Jonathan Allen, ADR mixer Robert Edwards and foley mixer Pete Smith all shared in the prize, though it's just Hayes, Nelson and Paterson who are included in the film's Oscar nomination for Best Sound Mixing.
Which, speaking of the golden guy, this Best Picture-nominated musical would appear to have the prize all but sewn up now. After winning Best Sound at last weekend's BAFTA Awards and now this, the writing is just on the wall. I had a really good feeling about "Skyfall" at the Oscars, and it could still surprise in both sound categories there, honestly, but the fact is the Academy at large springs for a musical when there's one available: "Chicago," "Ray," "Dreamgirls," etc. And a Best Picture-nominated musical is all the more tempting.
The only other CAS-nominated film up for Oscar is "Lincoln." If that film were at all truly dominant, that's the kind of thing that would be swept along. But one film in the Oscar race that wasn't nominated by CAS is "Argo," and there's logic to it taking the prize here and/or in Best Sound Editing. "Life of Pi," meanwhile, is the sort of intense below-the-line player that grabs prizes like this on its way to losing Best Picture.
But the only two films to pick up the BAFTA Award for Best Sound and the CAS Award and lose the Oscar were "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" (which lost to a sweeping "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King") and "Walk the Line" (which was a "musical" of a sort but nevertheless lost to the blockbuster "King Kong" -- funny both were Peter Jackson films). So the smart money is on "Les Misérables."
Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. The Best Sound Mixing Oscar Guide will address all of this on Tuesday.
Elsewhere at the CAS Awards, the animated films were split off into their own category for the first time ever. And the big winner there? Pixar's "Brave." I've already noted in the ACE Eddie Awards post my thoughts on that.
The CAS Career Achievement Award was presented to production sound mixer Chris Newman ("The English Patient," "Amadeus," "The Exorcist"). Jonathan Demme, meanwhile, was feted with the CAS Filmmaker Award.
We'll see what the Motion Picture Sound Editors' Golden Reel Awards have to add to this conversation tomorrow night. Once again, the full list of winners from tonight's 49th annual Cinema Audio Society Awards below. Remember to keep track of all the ups and downs of the season via The Circuit.
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures - Live Action
Production Mixer - Simon Hayes
Re-recording Mixer - Andy Nelson
Re-recording Mixer - Mark Paterson
Scoring Mixer - Jonathan Allen
ADR Mixer - Robert Edwards
Foley Mixer - Pete Smith
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures - Animation
Original Dialogue Mixer - Bobby Johanson
Re-recording Mixer - Tom Johnson
Re-recording Mixer - Gary Rydstrom, CAS
Scoring Mixer - Andrew Dudman
Foley Mixer - Frank Rinella
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Movie or Mini-Series
"Hatfields & McCoys" - "Part 1"
Production Mixer - Dragos Stanomir
Re-recording Mixer - Christian Cooke
Re-recording Mixer - Brad Zoern
Scoring Mixer - Jeffrey A. Vaughn, CAS
ADR Mixer - Eric Apps
Foley Mixer - Peter Persaud
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series - 1 Hour
"Homeland" - "Beirut is Back"
Production Mixer - Larry Long
Re-recording Mixer - Nello Torri, CAS
Re-recording Mixer - Alan M. Decker, CAS
ADR Mixer - Paul Drenning
Foley Mixer - Shawn Kennelly
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Series - 1/2 Hour
"Modern Family" - "Disneyland"
Production Mixer - Stephen A. Tibbo, CAS
Re-recording Mixer - Dean Okrand
Re-recording Mixer - Brian R. Harman, CAS
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Television Non-Fiction, Variety or Music Series or Specials
"The 2012 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony"
Re-recording Mixer - Brian Riordan, CAS
Re-recording Mixer - Jamie Ledner
Technical Achievement Award - Production
Sound Devices - 664 Field Production Mixer with Recorder
Technical Achievement Award - Post-Production
Dolby - Atmos
Lifetime Achievement Award
Chris Newman, CAS
Everything: Academy Awards
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