Oscar predictions: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ will win Best Sound Mixing

The Revenant” pulled off an upset at this year’s Cinema Audio Society Awards, winning Best Sound Mixing over the Oscar frontrunner “Mad Max: Fury Road.” However, in good news for the Aussie import, the CAS has an uneven track record at forecasting the Oscar winner, with just 11 of the 21 previous guild champs repeating at the academy. 

Let’s take a closer look at the race to see who has the best chance of winning:

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Mad Max: Fury Road”: Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, Ben Osmo
If Best Sound = Loudest Sound, then this trio should prepare their acceptance speeches. Jenkins is a two-time champ (“Out of Africa” [1985], “The Last of the Mohicans” [1992]) and was nominated for “Dick Tracy” [1990] and “Wanted” [2008]. Likewise, Rudloff already has a pair of Oscars (“Glory” [1989], “The Matrix” [1999]_ and was nominated for “The Perfect Storm” [2000], “Flags of Our Fathers” [2006], “Argo” [2012], and “American Sniper” [2014]. Osmo is a first-time nominee. Its bombastic soundtrack is certainly right up the academy’s alley, which may push it over the top for a win.

Votes: 18 Experts; 1 Editor; 15 of Top 24 Users; 62% of All Users

The Revenant”: Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montano, Randy Thom, Chris Duesterdiek
Thom is a legend in the sound business, having won Oscars in both sound categories (Best Sound for “The Right Stuff” [1983], Best Sound Editing for “The Incredibles” [2004]), and amassed an additional twelve nominations. He’s joined here by two-time nominee Taylor (“Birdman” [2014], “Unbroken” [2014]), seven-time nominee Montano (“Under Seige” (1992), “The Fugitive” (1993), “Clear and Present Danger” (1994), “Batman Forever” (1995), “Wanted” (2008), “Birdman,” “Unbroken”), and first-time nominee Duesterdiek. CAS and BAFTA voters were no doubt impressed by their ability to withstand the elements and craft an audible soundtrack. With “The Revenant” gaining speed in Best Picture, an upset in this category is certainly a possibility.

Votes: 7 Experts; 6 Editors; 9 of Top 24 Users; 28% of All Users

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 “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilson
It’s been a good year for Nelson as he also contends for “Bridge of Spies.” He’s joined here by Scarabosio, who picked up a Sound Editing nom for “There Will Be Blood” (2007), and Wilson, who previously contended for Sound Mixing “War Horse” (2011) and “Skyfall” (2012). The “Star Wars” franchise has done well in this category, with the original film and it’s first sequel, “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), winning, while “Return of the Jedi” (1983) and “The Phantom Menace” (1999) both received nominations. Should “Mad Max” and “The Revenant” split the vote, a win here could be a fitting way of rewarded the years biggest moneymaker.

Votes: 1 Expert; 7% of All Users

“The Martian”: Paul Massey, Mark Taylor, Mac Ruth
Massey received his seventh nomination for “The Martian,” after competing for “Legends of the Fall” (1994), “Air Force One” (1997), “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” (2003), “Walk the Line” (2005), “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006), and “3:10 to Yuma” (2007). He’s joined by  Taylor, who previously contended for “Captain Phillips” (2013), and first-time nominee Ruth. Just last year, “Whiplash” was able to win the Oscar without a mention from the guild, so “The Martian’s” omission from the CAS lineup shouldn’t count against it too much. What does hurt its chances is stiff competition from the other big, loud blockbusters in the race: “Mad Max,” “The Revenant,” and “Star Wars.”

Votes: 2% of All Users

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“Bridge of Spies”: Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, Drew Kunin
The nominees of “Bridge of Spies” reads like a who’s-who of Hollywood’s best sound mixers: Nelson, a two-time winner (“Saving Private Ryan” [1998], “Les Miserables” [2012]) and 16-time nominee; Rydstom, a seven-time winner (two for “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” [1991, Sound and Sound Effects Editing] two for “Jurassic Park” [1993, Sound and Sound Effect Editing], two for “Saving Private Ryan [1998, Sound and Sound Effects Editing], and one for “Titanic” [1997]), and ten-time nominee; and Kunin, who received his first nomination for “Life of Pi” (2012). Yet even with that impressive roster of talent, the films subtle sound work may get overlooked in favor of the category’s louder fare.

Votes: 1% of All Users

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