You hear the motor-sailor’s rigging groan, every squeak and metallic bend in the Spitfire, the muted pounding of a pilot trying to break his canopy and escape his sinking airplane, you feel the automatic weapons rounds thump against the hull of the beached trawler, whistling through the air of the front lines on the streets of “Dunkirk.”
So it was only natural that the Cinema Audio Society recognize Christopher Nolan’s largely dialogue-free masterpiece for the sound environment the crew concocted to match the spare, immersive and visceral visual one of the film.
“Dunkirk” took the big prize, the documentary “Jane” won for non-fiction, and “Game of Thrones” and Silicon Valley” took the TV prizes at the guild’s annual event.
“Dunkirk” could do well Oscar night, if there isn’t a “Whatever, just give it to ‘Shape of Water'” landslide. Though it was never going to have much in the line of singled-out acting honors (Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy stand out, but in compact ways that serve the story’s tense claustrophobia), I still say it’s the best directed, best edited, best shot best picture of 2017.