There is always some overlap between the two sound categories. Sound Editing is the creation of foley. Sound Mixing is the recording and mixing of the soundtrack. They are two distinct aspects of sound production, but often if a film does one well it does the other similarly well.
That said, a well-mixed film may not require a lot of sound effect production. A musical, perhaps. A film may require a heavy amount of foley, which usually means the mix is harder to master. An action movie, perhaps. A lot goes into the soundtrack, making it hard sometimes to discern whether the Academy will honor films in both categories, one, or none.
With the WGA nominations still a few days out, it is a bit difficult to get the full picture on the Oscar race in Best Original Screenplay. There are the Golden Globes to go on, but those nominations don’t always translate.
There are a few great screenplays that could be snubbed, and a few big Oscar contenders that are more likely to get the nod.
Generally, the Best Screenplay categories are filled with Best Picture hopefuls and, when there is room, one or two “honorable mention” choices. These are films that don’t necessarily get the love they might deserve in other categories, but the WGA and the Academy want to honor their merits in some way.
In the Original Screenplay category, this is something like The Big Sick or 20th Century Women. Both are great films that could have competed in other categories, but for one reason or another didn’t quite make the cut. For whatever reason, the screenwriting branch seems to be more forgiving of these clever little films.
Best Costume Design is an award that traditionally has gone to the most showy, flowery, and baroque costuming. Of course, there are always exceptions to this idea. Nominees are often period piece films. But not always. There is a fairly clear formula, but there is wiggle room therein.
There were a lot of visually appealing films in 2018. Films with a diversity of aesthetic styles. There’s something disorienting in First Man. Something queasy in The Favourite. Something slow and crafty in Roma. Something sumptuous and classical in Cold War. Etcetera. Etcetera.
With that being said, narrowing down the final Oscar shortlist to five is no short order. And with the American Society of Cinematographers not dropping their nominees in this category until January 7, we’re flying a bit blind here. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.