Montreal sound editor Sylvain Bellemare wins Oscar for ‘Arrival’

Montreal sound editor wins Oscar for 'Arrival'

Montreal’s Sylvain Bellemare gave a shoutout to his home city and expressed his fondness for Quebec director Denis Villeneuve as he accepted the best sound editing Oscar on Sunday for his work on “Arrival.”

Bellemare was the lone winner for “Arrival,” which had eight nominations going into the show, including nods for best picture and best director.

“This award, by far, is a collective award made by people from many countries around the world, led by the Quebec team. Salut, Montreal,” Bellemare said in his thank-you speech.

He then thanked the cast and crew, including star Amy Adams, who failed to get a nomination.

“Amy Adams, you’re a wonderful person and a profound actress. Thanks a lot,” said Bellemare.

“Denis Villeneuve … I love you so much. You bring love to us. All we need is love. Good night.”

Bellemare again thanked Villeneuve backstage, noting he’s an auteur filmmaker who isn’t making any compromises in Hollywood.

“If the sound is good in this film, it’s because of Denis Villeneuve,” he said. “He is a filmmaker with so many levels of talent, from so many details in movies.

“He’s a pure filmmaker like the old age.”

Bellemare won in a field that also included teams from “Deepwater Horizon,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “La La Land” and “Sully.” 

“Arrival” stars Adams as a linguistics expert who tries to communicate with aliens that have landed on Earth.

Jeremy Renner plays theoretical physicist Ian in the Quebec-shot film, which also stars Forest Whitaker as a military leader.

Earlier this month, Bellemare â€” along with two “Arrival” sound mixers — won a trophy from the British Academy Film Awards.

Bellemare’s previous credits include Villeneuve’s 2010 drama “Incendies,” which was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film.

His other films include “It’s Not Me, I Swear!” and “Monsieur Lazhar” by Quebec director Philippe Falardeau.

For the heptapod aliens in “Arrival,” he found inspiration in Pink Floyd’s music.

He said echoes and other noises from the psychedelic rock era helped him create the sound of alien movements. Bellemare was also a contributor to the creation of the aliens’ language, which was inspired partly by a melange of animal sounds.

In an interview before the Oscars, he said the film’s use of sound built on the sense of intimacy Villeneuve wanted to achieve.

“Denis never wanted to do any kind of an action film,” said Bellemare, adding the movie is primarily about the personal journey of Adams’s character.

“This is a story about one person.”


— With files from David Friend.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

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