Beware, ‘La La Land’ fans: If you’re not predicting ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ for Best Sound Editing you’re ignoring Oscar history

Mel Gibson‘s six-time Oscar nominee “Hacksaw Ridge” looks poised to take home at least one trophy this Sunday: Best Sound Editing. After sweeping both top honors at the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards, statistics show it will be nearly impossible to beat on February 26. But what does that mean for Best Picture frontrunner “La La Land”?

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There are not many precursors that hand out awards for sound editing, so these industry-voted kudos prove to be the most effective when trying to predict the eventual Oscar champ. Thirteen of the last 20 winners for Best Sound Effects and Foley (65%) have also triumphed at the Academy Awards. This year’s Golden Reel winner, “Hacksaw Ridge,” is the beneficiary of this statistical boost.

The other important Golden Reel award worth noting is Best Sound Dialogue and ADR. Four of the last 20 winners here (20%) went on to win the Oscar. This is yet another reason for “Hacksaw Ridge” fans to celebrate, considering it also won this honor. But what is the most daunting statistic for “Hacksaw Ridge’s” Oscar rivals “La La Land,” “Arrival,” “Deepwater Horizon” and “Sully”? Every film over the past 20 years that won both the Sound Effects Foley and Dialogue Awards at the Golden Reels, as is the case for “Hacksaw,” also won the Oscar for Best Sound Editing.

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“Hacksaw” is currently atop the Gold Derby racetrack board in this category with 4/9 odds. Trailing right behind with 9/2 odds is 14-time nominee “La La Land.” I would urge anyone predicting a “La La Land” upset here to reconsider their position. Each year it has been proven that sound effects and dialogue editing are the major factors that go into winning this Oscar. “La La Land” failed to even earn a nomination at the Golden Reel Awards in either of these categories. It did, however, win Best Sound Editing Music – a category where no previous victor has ever prevailed at the Oscars in Best Sound Editing.

Earlier this month the BAFTA Awards handed out their own award for Best Sound, but unlike the Oscars, they do not separate the categories into sound mixing and sound editing. “Arrival” won the BAFTA, which coincides with eight of the last 20 (40%) Oscar champs. An equal number of films lost Best Sound at BAFTA, yet rebounded to win the Oscar. For that reason, BAFTA has no significant impact on predicting this category outside of the fact that “Sully” was snubbed by BAFTA altogether.

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Focusing on statistics alone, this is how I would rank the contenders for Best Sound Editing at the 2017 Oscars:

1. “Hacksaw Ridge” – Golden Reel winner for Sound Effects and Foley, Golden Reel winner for Dialogue and ADR, BAFTA nominee for Best Sound

2. “Arrival” – Golden Reel nominee for Sound Effects and Foley, Golden Reel nominee for Dialogue and ADR, BAFTA winner for Best Sound

3. “Deepwater Horizon” – Golden Reel nominee for Sound Effects and Foley, BAFTA nominee for Best Sound

4. “La La Land” – Golden Reel winner for Sound Editing Music, BAFTA nominee for Best Sound

5. “Sully” – Golden Reel nominee for Dialogue and ADR

Predict the Oscar winners now; change them till February 26

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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