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Sound and Music Oscar Winners Announced

The Oscars for Best Sound, Score and Original Song were awarded last night, with two of those categories relegated to pre-show presentations.

Photo: Future

Hollywood, CA (March 28, 2022)—The creatives behind Dune won Oscars for best sound and best original score, and Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell were honored for best original song for their theme tune to No Time to Die at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 27.

The five-man sound team nominated for Dune — Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett — are no strangers to awards ceremonies, having amassed scores of nominations and wins between them during their careers. Mangini previously won an Oscar for best sound editing for Mad Max: Fury Road, in 2015, and Hemphill won for best sound for 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans. (For a time, sound was a single category before it was split into two, sound mixing and sound editing. It returned to being a single category in 2021.)

Dune was hotly tipped to win best sound ahead of the Oscar presentations, having already won MPSE and BAFTA awards in the category. The film, from director Denis Villeneuve, was nominated for 10 Oscars — the second most of any film this year, after Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, nominated for 12 — and won six on the night, including for film editing, cinematography, production design and visual effects.

Composer Hans Zimmer was not at the Dolby Theatre for the Oscar presentations to accept his award for best original score for Dune but posted a photo of himself on social media wearing a bathrobe and holding a gold statuette. “It’s 2am in Amsterdam, and my daughter Zoë woke me up to go to the hotel bar. Wow!!” he wrote. Zimmer, whose music for Disney’s animated feature The Lion King won the Oscar in 1995, reportedly holds the record for the longest time between best score wins — 28 years.

It’s Time to Stand Up for Sound

Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell took home an Oscar for best original song for “No Time to Die” from the latest Bond film, No Time to Die. This was the first Oscar nomination for the pair. The song previously won a Grammy Award and a Golden Globe.

The Academy made a controversial decision prior to awards night to present eight Oscars, some of them in the craft categories for which Dune subsequently won, during the hour prior to the televised ceremony. According to reports, director Villeneuve and Dune stars including Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya were in attendance to see the awards presented for original score, film editing, production design and sound.

Part of the controversy in advance of Oscar night was that the pre-show award presentations would be filmed, edited and then inserted during the live telecast on ABC. The L.A. Times, in an article that described the pre-show ceremony as “brisk, banterless and dreary,” commented that those segments “played strangely in the telecast later on, appearing sped up and edited awkwardly.” Plus, the winners in the pre-show categories had already been announced on social media by the time the awards were presented. As a result, “There was little excitement inside the room,” the L.A. Times observed.