The sound design Academy Awards. Oft overlooked and conflated, the sound editing and mixing are pivotal aspects of a film. A good soundtrack mix is seamless and unnoticeable, which is why the Academy likes to reward films with many sound elements that must be mixed. A good sound edit may also involve many sound effects on the soundtrack, or it may be something more subtle.
Here are my picks for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
Best Sound Editing
Will Win: Any of them
This is a hard category to call in terms of what film is likely to win. Hacksaw Ridge has plenty of sound elements that are juggled in the third act. Rogue One has an equally high volume of sound work in its various actions sequences.
La La Land may be a shoo-in for its mix, but in terms of editing it might not live up to the same standards as Hacksaw or Rogue One. This said, once the nominations come out, the final vote comes from all of the Academy branches, and I can’t imagine members of the acting branch knowing the difference between a mix and an edit. I mean, I only pretend to know the difference.
In terms of the nominations, if it isn’t the above five, there could be Silence or Sully.
Best Sound Mixing
Will Win: La La Land or Hacksaw Ridge
What I’ve swapped out from the last category is Arrival for Silence. And I could end up being backwards on this. Having not yet seen Silence makes this more complicated.
The sound design all around in Hacksaw Ridge is quite remarkable, so it could sweep these categories. But a quality mix is necessary to create an immersive musical experience as in La La Land. For now, it is a toss up.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)