Sound Mixing is one of the most confusing categories at the Oscars. One of the things that makes predicting this category so difficult is understanding what Sound Mixing actually is...but don't ask me.
Cinema Audio Society
53% - CAS and Oscar winners match.
When CAS and Oscar nominees match 3/5, the winners match 33%.
Les Miserables won the CAS for Sound Mixing.
Not good odds here, though for the last 6 years CAS and Oscar winners have matched 67%. However, if you look at the last 10 years, that percentage goes down to 40%. There was a 6 year run from 1995-2000 where the CAS and Oscar matched every year followed by a 5 year drought.
All Sound Mixing Oscar winners were nominated for CAS.
It is by no means a full-proof way, but Musicals or Action films seem to have the advantage when it comes to sound mixing. When Musicals were nominated, but didn’t win, it seems that Action films took the prize. For instance, Walk the Line was beaten in 2005 by King Kong and in 2001, Black Hawk Down won over Moulin Rouge!. However, in 2002, Chicago beat out the CAS winner and Sam Mendes directed, Road to Perdition, while Ray beat the CAS winner, The Aviator in 2004. Musicals and Action are the genres to look out for though I tend give more weight to the Musicals, which come fewer and farther between.
Talkies don’t typically win sound mixing. I would really be shocked if this won.
Argo has a lot going for it right now, though it wasn’t nominated for CAS and so I do not think it wins.
Life of Pi
The shipwreck scene was fantastic, but that may be 1 of only a few places in the film where the sound mixing really stands out. Plus, it wasn’t nominated for CAS and that would be a first it a non-CAS nominated film won the Oscar.
If there is one to beat the musical-CAS-winning Les Miserables, then it would be Skyfall. What’s more it’s directed by Sam Mendes, who is no stranger to the Sound Mixing category, whether it’s an action film or not (American Beauty).
I have to put my money on Les Miserables. Not only is it a Musical, but there were so many occasions for sound in the film that it’s hard to ignore them. Bringing in the ship at the beginning and the barricade scenes, for instance, give the film great support in the ways of sound mixing aside from music. It sort of has the best of both worlds.
PREDICTION: Les Miserables