Is ‘La La Land’ a lock to win Best Sound Mixing Oscar simply because it’s a musical?

Musicals are known to be good bets for Best Sound Mixing at the Oscars, so it is no surprise that “La La Land” has been the frontrunner to win that trophy throughout the season, but almost nine times as many predict it instead of its closest competitor: “Hacksaw Ridge,” which has 11/1 odds per the aggregate predictions of Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users.

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The overwhelming confidence in “La La Land” (1/5 odds) is staggering because although musicals and films about music are indeed good bets for Sound Mixing, they are not guaranteed wins even under the best of circumstances. Eight music-driven films have been nominated for Sound Mixing in the 2000s and only five have won. Among those that lost were 2005’s “Walk the Line” and 2001’s “Moulin Rouge!,” which both won the BAFTA Award for Best Sound, which is the single most reliable precursor for Sound Mixing at the Oscars in recent years. It notably forecast every winner from 2007 to 2014. Although “La La Land” was favored to win the BAFTA for Sound, it lost to “Arrival,” which sits in third for the Oscars, with 16/1 odds.

The consensus that “La La Land” will win Best Sound Mixing, but lose Best Sound Editing (to “Hacksaw Ridge”) also defies Oscar voting patterns. Only two winners for Sound Mixing have lost Sound Editing when they have been nominated: “Slumdog Millionaire” to “The Dark Knight” for 2008 and “In the Heat of the Night” to “The Dirty Dozen” for 1967. Seventeen films have won both Sound Editing and Mixing; the remaining 24 Sound Editing winners were not nominated for Mixing. However, there is good reason to think that the nomination itself is the reward for “La La Land” in Sound Editing — although the Oscars have nominated 83 music films for Sound Mixing, “La La Land” is only the second that has been nominated for Sound Editing, after 1992’s “Aladdin.”

Will the academy’s love of music in Best Sound Mixing trump any competing statistics? Scroll the lists below for the full track record of nominated music films in the category. Twenty-four have won, from 57 years in which one was nominated, out of 84 years of the film award.

“La La Land” is the Oscar frontrunner for Best Sound Mixing

Years in which a music film was nominated and won
2014: “Whiplash”
2012: “Les Miserables”
2006: “Dreamgirls”
2004: “Ray”
2002: “Chicago”
1988: “Bird”
1984: “Amadeus”
1972: “Cabaret”
1971: “Fiddler on the Roof”
1969: “Hello, Dolly!”
1968: “Oliver!” beat “Finian’s Rainbow,” “Funny Girl” and “Star!”
1965: “The Sound of Music”
1964: “My Fair Lady” beat “Mary Poppins” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
1961: “West Side Story”
1958: “South Pacific”
1956: “The King and I”
1955: “Oklahoma!” beat “Love Me or Leave Me”
1951: “The Great Caruso” beat “Two Tickets to Broadway”
1946: “The Jolson Story”
1942: “Yankee Doodle Dandy” beat “You Were Never Lovelier”
1940: “Strike Up the Band” beat “Spring Parade”
1936: “San Francisco” beat “Banjo on My Knee,” “That Girl from Paris” and “Three Smart Girls”
1935: “Naughty Marietta” beat “I Dream Too Much,” “Love Me Forever” and “Thanks a Million”
1934: “One Night of Love” beat “Flirtation Walk” and “The Gay Divorcee”

Oscars: How to watch live stream online on Sunday to see if ‘La La Land’ breaks record

Years in which a music film was nominated and the winner was not a music film
2013: “Inside Llewyn Davis” lost to “Gravity”
2005: “Walk the Line” lost to “King Kong”
2001: “Moulin Rouge!” lost to “Black Hawk Down”
1996: “Evita” lost to “The English Patient”
1992: “Aladdin” lost to “The Last of the Mohicans”
1991: “Beauty and the Beast” lost to “Terminator 2”
1990: “Dick Tracy” lost to “Dances with Wolves”
1985: “A Chorus Line” lost to “Out of Africa”
1981: “Pennies from Heaven” lost to “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
1980: “Coal Miner’s Daughter” and “Fame” lost to “The Empire Strikes Back”
1979: “The Rose” lost to “Apocalypse Now”
1978: “The Buddy Holly Story” lost to “The Deer Hunter”
1976: “A Star is Born” lost to “All the President’s Men”
1975: “Funny Lady” lost to “Jaws”
1970: “Woodstock” lost to “Patton”
1967: “Camelot,” “Doctor Dolittle” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” lost to “In the Heat of the Night”
1963: “Bye Bye Birdie” lost to “How the West was Won”
1962: “The Music Man” lost to “Lawrence of Arabia”
1959: “Porgy and Bess” lost to “Ben-Hur”
1957: “Les Girls” and “Pal Joey” lost to “Sayonara”
1954: “Brigadoon” lost to “The Glenn Miller Story”
1953: “Calamity Jane” lost to “From Here to Eternity”
1952: “Hans Christian Andersen” lost to “The Sound Barrier”
1950: “Cinderella” lost to “All About Eve”
1945: “The Three Caballeros” and “Wonder Man” lost to “The Bells of St. Mary’s”
1944: “Brazil,” “Cover Girl,” “Hollywood Canteen” and “Music in Manhattan” lost to “Wilson”
1943: “Phantom of the Opera” and “This is the Army” lost to “This Land is Mine”
1941: “The Chocolate Soldier” lost to “That Hamilton Woman”
1939: “Balalaika” and “The Great Victor Herbert” lost to “Then Tomorrow Comes”
1938: “Four Daughters,” “Sweethearts” and “That Certain Age” lost to “The Cowboy and the Lady”
1937: “The Girl Said No,” “Maytime” and “One Hundred Men and a Girl” lost to “The Hurricane”
1933: “42nd Street” and “Gold Diggers of 1933” lost to “A Farewell to Arms”
1930: “The Love Parade” and “Song of the Flame” lost to “The Big House”

“La La Land” is the new “Gigi,” the musical that swept in 1958

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