CAS Awards: Oscar frontrunner ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ wins with sound mixers

The Cinema Audio Society Awards gave a boost to the Oscar hopes of “Top Gun: Maverick” on Saturday. The film took top honors at these precursor prizes that honor sound mixing over all of its Oscar rivals for Best Sound: “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Elvis” and “The Batman.”

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” won sound mixing in an animated feature over “Lightyear,” “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” Puss in Boots: The Last Wish” and “Turning Red.”

And “Moonage Daydream” claimed the documentary feature prize over: “Good Night Oppy,” “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song,” “Louis Armstrong’s Black and Blues,” and “The Volcano: Rescue from Whakaari.”

The upcoming Oscars mark the third year for the Best Sound category, which combines Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. The CAS honors the latter while the Motion Picture Sound Editors salute achievements in the former.

Last year four of the five CAS nominees — “Dune,” “No Time to Die,” “The Power of the Dog” and “West Side Story” — went on to contend at the Oscars. The fifth, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” was bumped by “Belfast.” “Dune” was a double dipper.

Likewise in 2021, four of the five CAS contenders — “Greyhound,” “Mank,” “News of the World and “Sound of Metal” — reaped Oscar bids. The fifth, “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” was replace by “Soul,” which had contended in the animated race at the CAS Awards. “Sound of Metal” won with both groups.

Historically, about two-thirds of the CAS nominees went on to vie for Best Sound Mixing at the Academy Awards. In 2020, “Ford v Ferrari” took top honors at these precursor prizes over two of its Oscar rivals for Best Sound Mixing — “Joker” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”  — as well as “Rocketman” and “The Irishman.”  The sound branch of the academy snubbed those latter two films in favor of “1917” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” “Ford v Ferrari” won at the Oscars as well; historically, about half of the CSA champs went on to claim victory at the Academy Awards.

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