MPSE Golden Reel Awards may set up Oscars sound showdown between ‘Top Gun’ and ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’

Our Oscar odds for Best Sound have long been led by the action blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick,” whose aerial training and battle scenes required intricate work to immerse the audience in the action. But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for “Maverick” throughout this awards season so far, and if our predictions prove accurate, the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Awards will set up a head-to-head battle for the Oscar.

As of this writing  “Maverick” is the front-runner in both of its Golden Reel categories, for dialogue/ADR and effects/foley. In the first of those categories its closest rival is “Elvis,” which is a fellow Oscar nominee for Best Sound. In the latter race “Maverick” faces the Oscar-nominated sound effects of “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “The Batman.” That would put it in a good position to win the Oscar, right?

Well, the last Oscar nominee for Best Sound isn’t nominated against “Maverick” at the Golden Reel Awards but has its own separate category for foreign films: “All Quiet on the Western Front.” That film is the overwhelming favorite to win that category, which could set up the ultimate face-off between the two films at the Oscars. And the last time they competed against each other, at the BAFTAs, it was “All Quiet” that got the upper hand.

War movies tend to do well in sound categories thanks to their abundant gunfire, explosions, and heavy machinery. In the past 10 years alone sound Oscars have gone to the intense combat of “American Sniper” (2014), “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016), “Dunkirk” (2017), and “1917” (2019), and “All Quiet” would fit right in. So while “Maverick” still has the lead in our Oscar odds, “All Quiet” has gained some ground since the BAFTAs. Do you think both films will win Golden Reels? How will they then do at the Cinema Audio Society Awards and the Oscars?

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