Oscar Predictions: “Star Wars” should dominate the sound categories

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies

With the Oscar nominations to be announced Thursday morning, it’s time to talk about how Disney films and other movies are going to fare.

Last week, we posted our analysis of the Best Animated Feature and we wanted to recap what other films are going to make the cut. We’re breaking this up into a few different articles, that way you can read the ones you’re interested (because to be fair, not everyone is interested in each category). When I rank, this isn’t in order of how I believe they will finish, but instead how likely they are to get nominated. So the No. 1 does not mean that I think it will win, just that I feel it is most likely to get nominated.

To begin with, we’re predicting the sound categories, including Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Song and Best Original Score. Here we go!


First up, we’re going to look over Sound Editing. Out the gate, there is indeed a difference between Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Editing is about the creation of sound. Mixing is about the layering of dialogue, music, and the direction in which sounds come from. With that out of the way, let’s break it down.

I have my predicted nominees below:

Best Sound Editing

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. The Revenant
  4. Inside Out
  5. Bridge of Spies
  6. The Hateful Eight
  7. The Martian
  8. Sicario
  9. Jurassic World
  10. Spectre

star wars force awakens kylo ren

Safe Bets:

“Star Wars” has always done well in the sound categories, dating all the way to “A New Hope.” Even “Phantom Menace” pulled off a Sound Editing nomination, and let’s be honest, this film is much better. Still, “Star Wars” has never won in editing, so if it gets in, it could look for a first for the franchise. “Mad Max: Fury Road” should do very well here as well, especially for the creation of the cyclone, dust storms, and engine revving. I also feel very strongly in favor of “The Revenant” between the now infamous bear and the western vibe.

Inside Out 2

On the Bubble:

Things get interesting here, with a very tight race with five movies racing for two spots. I love what the editors of “Inside Out” were able to accomplish, and Editing is where Pixar shows up. They’ve popped up here on 7 occasions, beginning with “Monsters, Inc.” in the 2002 Oscars. They’re good here, and I think it squeaks through. That said, “Bridge of Spies” has some of the best sound editors in Oscar history behind it. Gary Rydstrom has 7 wins, Richard Hymns has 3, Andy Nelson has 2, and Drew Kunin has a nomination. All that weight, plus the Cinema Audio Society Guild has it as a top 5. Disney might actually push “Bridge” over “Inside Out” for the sole fact it’s more likely to win. I currently have them both getting in, so fingers crossed.

jurassic world 2

“The Hateful Eight” does some great sound effects work, especially for being in an enclosed space. I like what they do, and I’m curious as to how the sound editors perceive it. It made CAS mixing, but that might not translate. “Sicario” is one of my favorite 3 movie of the year, and the sound work is a major reason for that. It’s incredible work and I am hoping it will make the cut. The Martian” should be a solid choice, creating sound effects in space as well as a foreign planet. However, while I enjoyed it, it’s been overshadowed by “Star Wars.” Will they go for two space movies, or just the one? I don’t think that “Spectre” or “Jurassic World” has a real shot, but I have them on here due to their shear size. Sometimes loud is good enough.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Sound Mixing

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road
  3. The Revenant
  4. Bridge of Spies
  5. Sicario
  6. The Hateful Eight
  7. The Martian
  8. Straight Outta Compton
  9. Spectre
  10. Jurassic World

Bridgeof-Spies-Mark Rylance

Best Bets:

There is very often a crossover between mixing and editing. In the last four years, 4 films crossed over three times, and 3 films crossed over the odd year out. With that in mind, my top 3 remain the same, and they all landed with CAS. “Bridge of Spies” also feels like a safe bet here, so those four are my best bets.

Straight outta Compton

On the Bubble:

I have 3 films that I think genuinely have a shot, and a bottom 3 that would need a lot of love. “Sicario” is a war movie, make no mistake about it. I think that helps distinguish it here. “The Hateful Eight” has one scene in particular that is very well executed with music, dialogue, and the score all meshing together wonderfully. That said,  CAS not converted 5 for 5 in the last five years, so I’m thinking this is what misses on Oscar morning. I think that “The Martian” didn’t do a particularly great job with mixing, but it definitely still has a shot. The bottom three here, specifically “Straight Outta Compton” seem like lottery wins for any of these movies if they get in. If “Compton” gets this, I’d be shocked if they don’t get a Best Picture nomination (because otherwise it’d be a 1 and done).

John Williams

Best Original Score

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens- John Williams
  2. The Hateful Eight- Ennio Morricone
  3. Bridge of Spies- Thomas Newman
  4. Spotlight- Howard Shore
  5. The Danish Girl- Alexandre Desplat
  6. Carol- Carter Burwell
  7. Inside Out- Michael Giacchino
  8. Sicario- Jóhann Jóhannson
  9. Steve Jobs- Daniel Pemberton
  10. Brooklyn- Michael Brook

SAVING MR. BANKS Thomas Newman

Best Bets:

Fun fact about the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” score. John Williams is allowed to get away with reusing the original theme he composed and still qualify for Best Original Score, because he was the musician who composed it. Also, Williams is going for nomination number 50, and I think we can all agree this is happening.

Ennio Morricone will also get in for his tremendous score for “The Hateful Eight.” He’s amazing and I cannot believe he hasn’t won one yet in competition (I don’t count the honorary, “we’re sorry we’ve messed this up so bad” Oscar). I think he’s the winner at the end of the day, but Williams is assured a nomination. Thomas Newman has also never won, and with 12 nominations is certainly overdue. Nomination feels certain.

Michael Giacchino

On the Bubble:

Shore has already won 3 times, and I think he might be one they let slide this year. I have him in at the moment, but it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise if he misses. I think Alexandre Desplat’s “Danish Girl” score is not that impressive, but it could make it in because Desplat is an Academy darling as well. If you haven’t noticed, they like to stick with their favorite composers when possible. That puts Burwell on the outside for me. He’s only been noticed by the Globes twice, and never with Oscar. Yes, there’s a first time for everything, but does “Carol’s” score have to happen? I don’t think so.

On the flip side, two time nominee and one time winner, Michael Giacchino, is starting to emerge as Hollywood’s go-to man. Not only is the “Inside Out” score one of the best of the year, but it figures so prominently into the film that it becomes an essential part of the movie. If “Inside Out” gets a Best Picture nomination, this should happen as well. Jóhann Jóhannson finally cracked the top 5 last years, and “Sicario” has a very good score in its pocket. I think Michael Brook and Daniel Pemberton did an excellent job, and Pemberton popped up with Globes. That said, “Jobs” did better at the Globes than it did anywhere else so far, so that feels like an outlier.

Furious 7 See You Again

Best Original Song

  1. “See You Again” from “Furious 7”
  2. “Til it Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground”
  3. “Earned it” from “Fifty Shades of Gray”
  4. “Love Me Like You Do” from “Fifty Shades of Gray”
  5. “Writing on the Wall” from “Spectre”
  6. “Simple Song #3” from “Youth”
  7. “Feels Like Summer” from “Shaun the Sheep: The Movie”
  8. “I’ll See You in my Dreams” from “I’ll See You in my Dreams”
  9. “So Long” from “Concussion”
  10. “Flashlight” from “Pitch Perfect 2”

87th Annual Academy Awards - Show

Best Bets:

I think this is one of the odd years where we have a lot of popular musicians in the fold for the Oscar. Off the top, I think that there are only two sure things: “See You Again” and “Til it Happens to You.” After Lady Gaga crushed it at the Oscars last year, and then has an amazing song in one of the years most important documentaries, it is hard to ignore her. She’s becoming Bette Midler, and this should continue that trend. “See You Again” was deeply personal, was an incredible sendoff for a well respected actor, as well as an excellent way to acknowledge the franchise. Plus, it was number 1 for 12 weeks. It was infectious and everyone (even my Grandmother) has heard this song.

The Weeknd

On the Bubble:

While not as controversial as the film, I’m predicting a double nomination for “Fifty Shades of Gray.” I think that “Earned It” by the Weeknd would be the exclamation point on his massive 2015. Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” was also incredible, and grabbed a Golden Globe nomination.  Both have popped up as nominees at various events, and of the bubble songs, they should both be on it. On the other hand, Sam Smith’s Bond ballad is an homage to previous songs from the franchise. The Globe win was certainly nice, but Oscar ballots were due before the Globes on Sunday. Still, having the chance to have a top 5 of Wiz Khalifa, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, The Weeknd, and Ellie Goulding may be too much to pass up for the songwriters branch.

Sam Smith

Still, others are lurking. I think that “Simple Song #3” boils down to whether or not voters have seen the movie. It’s very well done, but we’ll see if it makes the cut. Do they feel like this is a must include, especially since it may be the only nomination for the film? “I’ll See You in My Dreams” does a lot for the narrative of its film, but again, have they actually seen the movie? “Feels like Summer” was a lot of fun, and the only real words in the film. It might be a good consolation prize if it misses Best Animated Feature. I don’t think “Flashlight” makes the cut, even with the Jessie J connection. I didn’t particularly like it in the movie either.

That wraps up the sound categories. At this point I have “Star Wars” with 3 locks for nominations, “Inside Out” with two on the bubble, and “Bridge of Spies” with two locks and one on the bubble. More articles are on the way!

Oscar nominations will be announced at 8:30 ET, 5:30 PT on January 14th by Ang Lee, Guillermo del Toro, John Krasinski and Boone Isaacs.

in Disney, Entertainment, Movies

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