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THE 75TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS | SHORT TAKES / Sound

The best of the rest

March 24, 2003

"Chicago"

Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella, David Lee

With statuettes going to sound mixer David Lee and re-recording mixers Michael Minkler and Dominick Tavella, what may have won over Oscar voters was the film's careful and difficult sound mix that balanced dialogue, vocal performances of songs, musical backgrounds (both for the vocals and the instrumentals in the score), natural sound and sound effects.

The narrative's constant shift between fantasy and reality sequences, as Roxie (Renee Zellweger) imagines life on the stage while in prison awaiting her murder trial, made the job an even greater challenge.

Minkler won last year's sound Oscar for "Black Hawk Down" and had been nominated seven times before that, for films including "JFK," "Born on the Fourth of July" and "Altered States." This was the first nomination for Tavella and Lee.

Kevin O'Connell, nominated 16 times in the sound category (this year for "Spider-Man"), now becomes the most-nominated person without a win.

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