My nominations for the best Sound Mixing of 2011 go to:
Drive (Robert Eber, Robert Fernandez, Dave Paterson):
The squeeling rubber and breaking glass of the action scenes are well handled, but its the suspenseful moments of silence, with only Cliff Martinez's tonal score boring through, that really get me. Oh, and the opening scene = perfect.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
(Peter J. Devlin, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers):
Employing a sophisticated 7.1 surround-sound canvas, they somehow manage to lend sonic cognizance to Bay's visual cacophony with astonishing clarity and formidable bombast, KA-BAYs and all.
The Tree of Life
(Craig Berkey, Kirk Francis, Jeremy Peirson, John Pritchett, Christopher Scarabosio):
The extended creation sequence is the most obvious showcase of the sound in this film, but I also like how the voice-over narrations were blended in to yield an ethereal sonic quality that felt both natural and graceful.
War Horse (Tom Johnson, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, Stuart Wilson):
They may have amplified the music a tad beyond what was needed, but their handling of the battle and action segments more than compensates, immersing us in a variety of distinct sounds all in their right place.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (Paul Davies, Robert Farr, Ken Ishii):
Surely the film's most under-appreciated aspect, this ingenious sound mix is as essential to creating Eva's messy memories as the photography or editing. Sound takes on narrative meaning, becoming a device of foreshadowing and flashback before we even know it.
Just missed: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hanna, Harry Potter,
Hell and Back Again, MI4, Tintin