Golden Rule: Baby Driver’s Path to Oscar Gold

Leading up to the 90th Academy Awards on March 4th, we’re diving into as many of the nominated films as possible to look at their chances of taking home the Oscar. You can check out our list of where to watch each film here, and see the full list of nominees here. Today we’re looking at Baby Driver, which is nominated for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.

Baby Driver centers around Baby (Ansel Elgort), a young man working as a getaway driver for thieves in order to repay a debt owed to a kingpin (Kevin Spacey). After a car accident causes the loss of his parents and leaves him with tinnitus, Baby drowns the ringing out by listening to music. This music, essentially the score of the film, makes the film a sort of jukebox musical (similar to the Guardians of the Galaxy films).

This film deserves all three nominations. Director Edgar Wright made this film knowing these three elements would be imperative to the film. They were notated in one of the original drafts of the script for the film as needing to be good enough to warrant Oscar nominations. And the film delivers. The sound and cuts in this film are orchestrated perfectly. The film is fantastic, and a big part of that is how well of three of these work together.

All of that being said, it’s hard to tell if the film can beat Dunkirk. Right now Dunkirk is the front runner in most technical categories. War films tend to be Academy darlings, and Dunkirk is an expertly crafted war film without any dark clouds looming over it (re: Hacksaw Ridge, directed by Mel Gibson). There’s a good chance it will take home a lot of awards.

Dunkirk is nominated in all three of these categories and Baby Driver could be its biggest competitor for the sound categories.

Another element could help drive home the win for Baby Driver, with this being the first film Edgar Wright made after leaving Ant-man. Without his departure from that film, Wright said he may never have made Baby Driver. The studio might celebrate the idea of a filmmaker leaving the “big evil studio” and making a film of his own. But, this idea could be a stretch. It’s a point in the film’s favor, but a small one.

I, Tonya is shaping up to be a fierce competitor for Film Editing after beating out Baby Driver for Best Editing in a comedy or musical at this year’s American Cinema Editors Awards. There’s a good chance that many Academy Members will see I, Tonya and Dunkirk thanks to their other nominations, and vote for those for editing and sound categories.

Many Academy Members will vote for films they’ve seen. And those are sometimes limited to films nominated for picture or acting awards. Which I, Tonya and Dunkirk both have. If Baby Driver wins in any category it’s probably going to be thanks to Academy Members seeing the film earlier this year.

Baby Driver is currently available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital. Be sure to keep following Poor Man’s Spoiler for all of our Oscar coverage. The Oscars air on ABC on March 4th at 8pm ET.

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