Predicting the winner of the Oscar for Best Sound Editing is made particularly difficult by the presence of a second sound award for best mixing. While both honor aural aspects of movies, they are for two distinct achievements. Sound editing refers to the blending of all of the distinct elements — dialogue, ADR, foley and sound effects — into one track. Conversely, sound mixing refers to the adjustments of the levels of each of these elements as well as the score so that certain sounds stand out at specific times.
While the members of the sound branch understand the nuances between the two categories, many of the other academy members may not, which could account for the same film winning both awards so often. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date predictions for this year’s Best Sound Editing race.)
As with other below-the-line categories, bigger is better when it comes to sound. Academy voters ofteh reward those films with loud and pulsating sounds. Winners “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), “Gravity” (2013), “Skyfall” (2012), “The Dark Knight”(2008) and “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007) all benefited from intense action sequences peppered with plenty of explosions. Likewise for war pictures such as “American Sniper” (2014), “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006) and “Pearl Harbor” (2001).
Please note: Only those films with confirmed release dates are listed below. Check back often as new contenders are scheduled while others are dropped due to delays or critical reception.
UPDATED: November 26, 2017
Craig Berkey, “Darkest Hour” (Universal Studios/Focus Features)
Christopher Boyes, Justin Doyle, “Coco” (Pixar/Disney)
Will Files, “War for the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox)
Richard Hymns, “The Post” (20th Century Fox)
Mildred Iatrou, Ai-Ling Lee, “Battle of the Sexes” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Richard King, “Dunkirk” (Warner Bros.)
Mark A. Mangini, Theo Green, “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros./Columbia Pictures/Alcon Entertainment)
James Mather, “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.)
Paul N.J. Ottosson, “Detroit” (Annapurna Pictures)
Alan Robert Murray, Tom Ozinich, “Wind River” (The Weinstein Company)
Julian Slater, “Baby Driver” (TriStar Pictures)
Donald Sylvester, “Logan” (20th Century Fox)
TBA, “The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)
Matthew Wood, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Walt Disney Studios)
David Acord, Addison Teague, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (Marvel Studios)
John Flores, Eliza Paley, Daniel Ward, “Wonderstuck” (Amazon Studios)
Scott Hecker, “Justice League” (Warner Bros.)
Mildred Iatrou, “The Mountain Between Us” (20th Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment)
Shannon Mills, “Thor: Ragnarok” (Marvel Studios)
Al Nelson, Bjorn Ole Schroeder, “Only the Brave” (Lionsgate/Di Bonaventura Pictures)
Eric A. Norris, Steven Ticknor, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Marvel Studios)
Warren Shaw, “Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney Studios)
Oliver Tarney, “Suburbicon” (Paramount Pictures)
TBA, “All the Money in the World” (Tristar)
TBA, “Downsizing” (Paramount Pictures/Annapurna Pictures)
Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl, “Transformers: The Last Knight” (Paramount Pictures)
Damian Volpe, “Mudbound” (Netflix)
Richard Beggs, “The Beguiled” (Focus Features)
Christopher Boyes, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (Walt Disney Studios)
Peter Brown, Stephen P. Robertson, Mark P. Stoeckinger, “The Fate of the Furious” (Universal)
Tae-young Choi, “Okja” (Netflix)
Michael Gilbert, “Logan Lucky” (Bleecker Street)
Victor Ray Ennis, “It” (Warner Bros./New Line Cinema)
Thomas Huhn, Nicklas Lindh, “Atomic Blonde” (Focus Features)
James Mather, “Murder on the Orient Express” (20th Century Fox)
Jon Michaels, “Geostorm” (Warner Bros.)
Al Nelson, Steve Slanec, “Kong: Skull Island” (Warner Bros.)
Oliver Tarney, “Alien: Covenant” (20th Century Fox)
TBA, “Roman Israel, Esq.” (Columbia)
UPDATED: November 26, 2017
Richard King won Oscars for “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” (2003), “The Dark Knight,” and “Inception” (2010), the latter two of which were directed by Christopher Nolan. King reunites with him for “Dunkirk,” an epic about a key WWII battle.
Paul N.J. Ottosson has won three Oscars for his work with Kathryn Bigelow (Sound Mixing and Sound Editing for “The Hurt Locker” and Sound Editing for “Zero Dark Thirty” in 2012) and could claim a fourth for her newest film, “Detroit.” This powerful picture chronicles the 1967 race riot that turned the streets of the Motor City into a war zone.
Richard Hymns won Oscars for “Jurassic Park” (1993) and “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), both of which were directed by Steven Spielberg. They are working together again on “The Post,” a docudrama about the 1971 decision by the Washington Post to publish secret government documents about the war in Vietnam.
Mark A. Mangini won an Oscar for “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) and could win a second for “Blade Runner 2049,” Denis Villeneuve‘s sequel to Ridley Scott‘s 1982 sci-fi classic. Surprisingly, the original did not reap a bid in this race, contending only for art direction and visual effects.
Three-time nominee Matthew Wood (“There Will Be Blood” in 2007, “Wall-E” in 2008, and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015) could return to the race for the latest entry in the “Star Wars” franchise, “The Last Jedi.”
In the coming weeks and months, we will be predicting all 24 of the competitive categories at the Oscars.
Best Picture | Best Director | Best Original Screenplay | Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Actor | Best Actress | Best Supporting Actor | Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography | Best Costume Design | Best Film Editing | Best Production Design
Best Makeup & Hairstyling | Best Sound Editing | Best Sound Mixing | Best Visual Effects
Best Original Score | Best Original Song
Best Animated Feature | Best Documentary Feature | Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Short | Best Documentary Short | Best Live-Action Short