Forget about the Coens finally (probably) getting theirs. Forget about Daniel Day-Lewis (almost certainly) getting another one. Forget about Ellen Page (possibly) upsetting Julie Christie. The real question this year is this: Will Kevin O’Connell finally get his?
Who is Kevin O’Connell? He is one of Hollywood’s go-to sound mixers, and he has lost the Oscar an ego-shattering nineteen out of nineteen times. Last year, he became the flashpoint of controversy when one member of the sound team who did win, Michael Minkler (from Dreamgirls), wagged backstage immediately afterward that O’Connell (who lost out for Apocalypto) “is an okay mixer, but he should take up another line of work.” Turns out that as Minkler was uttering those words, O’Connell was at the hospital, watching his mother die in his arms. (We are not making this up.) The whole thing raged out of control a bit further when O’Connell’s Apocalypto colleagues came to his defense and called Minkler, well, a shit.
Apologies and retractions were eventually issued, and they all sorta made nice, of course. But O’Connell is nominated again this year, for Transformers. And whatever else we may think of that film, we’re rooting for him. Come on, Oscar. It’s your chance to bring a little bit of peace to the world. —Bilge Ebiri
Do Not Mess With the Sound-Mixers. They Will Tear You Apart. [ScreenGrab]
Greg P. Russell Responds to Michael Minkler's Comments [InContention.com]