Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Oscar Predictions: Best Sound

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Monday, March 15th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in all categories.

Last year’s nominees: Ad Astra (Sound), Ford v Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Sound Editing)

My choices: Coming soon!

This year’s locks: None

Very likely: Sound of Metal, Tenet

Possible: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Greyhound, Soul, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Mank, The Midnight Sky, News of the World, Da 5 Bloods, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman

Unlikely: The Prom, Wonder Woman 1984, The Invisible Man

The rundown: This category combines the former sound mixing and sound editing races, which matched exactly only once since they both had five nominees as of 2006. It’s a move that probably should have happened a long time ago given the apparent audience enthusiasm for the more technical categories, though I’d personally prefer an expansion with more awards than taking some away. In any case, this change doesn’t make it any easier to predict what will end up here. Looking at the nominees from both the Cinema Audio Society and Motion Picture Sound Editors, five live-action features were cited by both groups. Sound of Metal seems like a frontrunner at this point, and I’m not quite as sure about Best Picture contenders The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Mank. It’s possible that both Tom Hanks movies, Greyhound and News of the World, will get in, but I think only the former will, which isn’t the popular choice. Soul was also nominated by both groups in the animated categories, and its inclusion here would make it the first animated film in the running since “Toy Story 3.” I’m betting on one very sound-dependent film, Tenet, and another that deals heavily with music, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. But this is all really guesswork, and I feel like this category could be a total surprise.

For your consideration: The thriller Run deserves a place here for its use of sound to augment its suspense and storytelling.

Forecasted winner: If it gets in, I’ll go with Sound of Metal.

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