|Scene from 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi|
While this has been a largely controversy-free Oscar season, there was one film that managed to get in the news for all of the wrong reasons. Director Michael Bay's 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi may not be a movie up for Best Picture, but it still managed to have its sole nomination rescinded due to a little rule breaking. While it won't be replaced by another nominee, it lowers the Best Sound Mixing category to four potential nominees. Read on to discover what exactly got 13 Hours excluded from the race and sacrificed it from having a potential win.
While Greg P. Russell may not be a household name, it's likely that you've seen one or two of the movies for which he's received 17 Oscar nominations. His work includes Con Air, Spider-Man 2, Skyfall, and the Transformers films (of which he shared a nomination with another Best Sound Mixing nominee, Hacksaw Ridge's Kevin O'Connell who currently holds 21 nominations and zero wins). With Russell up once again for a nomination, it only seems right that he would do some campaigning. However, he may have gone too far with his latest venture.
Apparently Russell had called members in the sound mixing community during the nominations process which, according to a statement from The Academy, managed "to make them aware of his work on the film, in direct violation of a campaign regulation that prohibits telephone lobbying." President Cheryl Boone Isaacs later went on to claim that "The Academy takes very seriously the Oscars voting process and anything – no matter how well-intentioned – that may undermine the integrity of that process."
So while it bumps Russell's total back down to 16 nominations total, it should be noted for anyone betting on 13 Hours pulling a surprise win over Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, or Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While the race is tighter, the Best Sound Mixing category isn't any easier predict. Will La La Land sweep the technical fields, or will there be an upset by Arrival or Hacksaw Ridge? While I will have my nominations out later today, the answer will be coming very soon. So stay tuned for more coverage on this category as well as the other bigger fields looking to keep the night interesting.