Around this time of year when I abruptly stop watching movies in full (a breather if you will. It usually lasts two to three weeks) I tend to spend a lot of time skimming through films I've already seen for writing purposes or little reminders of what makes them tick (or tick me off). Scanning through Hanna recently I was amazed anew at the rich theater of its sound work. I didn't quite love the movie or even like it at all in spots and yet it's really difficult to shake.
Of course, you always notice great sound work more when you're also responding to the music and you'll see that reflected in the song, score, sound mixing and sound editing categories which contain nominations for films ranging from Drive to Captain America, The Skin I Live In to The Muppets, Moneyball to Super 8. I don't tend to write much about these categories and I don't claim to be an expert but every year I promise myself to pay a little more attention to sound and scoring. I can't say that I kept the promise in 2011 but since Hollywood was busy obsessing over silent movies (Hugo and The Artist) I'll interpret that as a deferrment.
Let's talk scoring a lot more in 2012, mmmkay?!
As for 2011, which is still going on in our world since Oscar is the New Year's Eve of the film year, I'm all about Alberto Iglesias. There are a number of composers that do multiple films a year these days. Many of them repeat themselves. I think the strain is starting to show a smidgeon with Alexandre Desplat, for example, a god among composers. He's the Jessica Chastain of composers; working round the clock and signing up for endless more projects. But WOW with Iglesias this year. He's done great work before but The Skin I Live In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy are both A grade scores for very different films. I'd nominated him for both but for my policy of not doing that (I treat the craft categories like Oscar treats acting. You're only allowed on nomination in a category each year).
I hope Iglesias hasn't peaked yet but if he has, you'd be hard pressed to find a better twofer from any composer in the space of a single year. Both scores really fit and elevate their films.
P.S. I've add editing to the VISUAL CATEGORIES. I meant to have more done by now but I'm told that I was wrong about their being 32 hours in every day. Who knew?