Oscars Predictions: Best Sound – Will the Sound Also Consider ‘Devotion’ for Academy Love?

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Nov. 22, 2022

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2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Sound

The Fabelmans - Gabrielle LaPelle
Gabrielle LaPelle as Sammy Fabelman in “The Fabelmans” (Universal Pictures)

CATEGORY COMMENTARY:

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ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

Emancipation
Emancipation

And The Predicted Nominees Are:

Rank

Film

Sound mixer(s), sound editor(s) and sound designer(s)

Distributor

1

Top Gun: Maverick

Mark Weingarten (production sound mixer), James H. Mather, Al Nelson (supervising sound editors), Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor (re-recording mixers)

Paramount Pictures

After thirty years, Maverick is still pushing the envelope as a top naval aviator, but must confront ghosts of his past when he leads TOP GUN’s elite graduates on a mission that demands the ultimate sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.

2

“Elvis”

David Lee (production sound mixer), Wayne Pashley (sound designer, supervising sound editor), Andy Nelson, Michael Keller (re-recording mixers)

Warner Bros.

The life of American music icon Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

3

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

Gwen Whittle (supervising sound editor), Gary Summers, Mike Hedges (re-recording mixers), Chris Boyes (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer), Tony Johnson (production sound mixer), Julian Howarth (TBA)

20th Century Studios

Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the planet of Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their planet.

4

“Emancipation”

To be added

Sony Pictures

A runaway slave forges through the swamps of Louisiana on a tortuous journey to escape plantation owners that nearly killed him.

5

“The Woman King”

Becky Sullivan, Kevin O’Connell, Tony Lamberti, Derek Mansvelt

Sony Pictures

A historical epic inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Next in Line

6

“Thirteen Lives”

Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate (supervising sound editors), Chris Burdon, William Miller (re-recording mixers), Paul “Salty” Brincat (production sound mixer)

Amazon Studios/MGM

A rescue mission is assembled in Thailand where a group of young boys and their soccer coach are trapped in a system of underground caves that are flooding.

7

“Empire of Light”

Oliver Tarney (supervising sound editor/designer), Rachael Tate (supervising sound editor), Stuart Wilson (production sound mixer), Chris Burdon, William Miller (re-recording mixer)

Searchlight Pictures

“Empire of Light” is a love story set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s.

8

“Good Night Oppy”

Mark Mangini (sound design and re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

The film follows Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rover affectionately dubbed Oppy by her creators and scientists at NASA. Oppy was originally expected to live for only 90 days but she ultimately explored Mars for nearly 15 years.

9

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker (supervising sound editors), Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor (re-recording mixer)

Marvel Studios

The nation of Wakanda is pitted against intervening world powers as they mourn the loss of their king T’Challa.

10

“The Fabelmans”

Gary Rydstrom (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer), Brian Chumney (supervising sound editor), Andy Nelson (re-recording mixer), Ronald Judkins (production sound mixer)

Universal Pictures

A semi-autobiography based on Spielberg’s own childhood growing up in post-war Arizona, from age seven to eighteen.

Other Top-Tier Contenders

11

“Devotion”

William Files, Matt Yocum, Joel Dougherty, Brandon Proctor, Erik H. Magnus

Sony Pictures

18

“Babylon”

Steven Morrow (production sound mixer), Mildred Iatrou Morgan (supervising sound editor), Andy Nelson (re-recording mixer) Ai-Ling Lee (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer)

Paramount Pictures

12

“The Batman”

Stuart Wilson (production sound mixer), William Files, Douglas Murray (supervising sound editors), Andy Nelson, William Files (re-recording mixers)

Warner Bros.

13

“RRR”

Raghunath Kemisetty (sound designer), Boloy Kumar Doloi, Rahul Karpe (re-recording mixers)

Variance Films

14

“Nope”

Johnnie Burn (supervising sound editor, sound designer, re-recording mixer), Jose Antonio Garcia (production sound mixer)

Universal Pictures

17

“Bones and All”

Jim Morgan, Geoff Maxwell (production sound mixers), Michele Gualdrini (re-recording mixer)

MGM/United Artists Releasing

16

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Simon Willis (production sound mixer), Joakim Sundström (supervising sound editor), Chris Burdon, Johnathan Rush (re-recording mixer)

Searchlight Pictures

12

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

To be added

A24

19

“After Yang”

Ruy Garcia (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer)

A24

20

“The Northman”

James Harrison (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer), Steve Little (supervising sound editor), Paul Cotterell, Mark Taylor (re-recording mixers)

Focus Features

Also In Contention

21

“Women Talking”

David McCallum, Jane Tattersall (supervising sound editors), Lou Solakofski, Joe Morrow (re-recording mixers)

MGM/United Artists Releasing

22

“Triangle of Sadness”

To be added

Neon

23

“Lightyear”

Ren Klyce (re-recording mixer, supervising sound editors), Coya Elliott (supervising sound editor), Stephen Urala (re-recording mixer), Paul McGrath (production sound mixer)

Pixar

24

“Don’t Worry Darling”

Steven A. Morrow (sound mixer), Paul Urmson (re-recording mixer, supervising sound editor), Skip Lievsay (re-recording mixer)

Warner Bros.

25

“Turning Red”

Coya Elliott (supervising sound editor), Ren Klyce (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer), Stephen Urata (re-recording mixer), Vince Caro (original dialogue mixer)

Pixar

26

“The Menu”

Rich Bologna (supervising sound editor/sound designer), Todd Weaver, Jason Sullivan (production sound mixers)

Searchlight Pictures

27

“All Quiet on the Western Front”

To be added

Netflix

28

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”

To be added

Marvel Studios

29

“Strange World”

Shannon Millers (supervising sound editor), Samson Neslund (sound designer), Gabriel Guy (production sound mixer, re-recording mixer), Bill Higley (production sound mixer, ADR mixer), David E. Flur (supervising re-recording mixer)

Walt Disney Pictures

30

“Nanny”

Matt Perry Thomas (production sound mixer), Dave Flynch (supervising sound editor), Paul Hsu (sound designer), Skip Lievsay (re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

All Contenders Listed (Unranked-Alphabetical)

“A Love Song”

Sean Kiely (sound mixer), Javier Umpierrez (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer)

Bleecker Street

“After Yang”

Ruy Garcia (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer)

A24

“All the Old Knives”

Nina Harstone, Eilam Hoffman (supervising sound editors), Jens Rosenlund Petersen (supervising dialogue editor), Tom Williams (production sound mixer), Andrew Stirk, Adam Scrivener (re-recording mixers)

Amazon Studios

“Argentina, 1985”

Santiago Fumagalli (supervising sound editor, production sound mixer), Lora Hirschberg, Tony Villaflor (re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker (supervising sound editors), Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor (re-recording mixer)

Marvel Studios

“Bones and All”

Jim Morgan, Geoff Maxwell (production sound mixers), Michele Gualdrini (re-recording mixer)

MGM/United Artists Releasing

“Breaking”

James Devore (sound mixer), Mark Friedgen (co-supervising sound editor), Peter Bawiec (sound designer)

Bleecker Street

“Bros”

Bobby Mackston, Miriam Cole (supervising sound editors), Michael Babcock, Brian Tarlecki (re-recording mixers), Dan Bricker (production sound mixer)

Universal Pictures

“Catherine Called Birdy”

Gareth John (production sound mixer), Ben Meechan (supervising sound editor), Jeremy Price (sound designer), Jamie Roden (re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

“DC League of Superpets”

Bill R. Dean, Ando Johnson (supervising sound editor, sound designer), Jessie Pariseau (supervising sound editor, foley supervisor), Tim LeBlanc, Dean Zupancic (re-recording mixers)

Warner Bros.

“Devotion”

William Files, Matt Yocum, Joel Dougherty, Brandon Proctor, Erik H. Magnus

Sony Pictures

“Dog”

Odin Benitez (supervising sound editor), Craig Mann (re-recording mixer), Laura Wiest (re-recording mixer)

MGM/United Artists Releasing

“Don’t Worry Darling”

Steven A. Morrow (sound mixer), Paul Urmson (re-recording mixer, supervising sound editor), Skip Lievsay (re-recording mixer)

Warner Bros.

“Elvis”

David Lee (production sound mixer), Wayne Pashley (sound designer, supervising sound editor), Andy Nelson, Michael Keller (re-recording mixers)

Warner Bros.

“Emergency”

Paul Reed (production sound mixer), Paul Hsu (supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

“Empire of Light”

Oliver Tarney (supervising sound editor/designer), Rachael Tate (supervising sound editor), Stuart Wilson (production sound mixer), Chris Burdon, William Miller (re-recording mixer)

Searchlight Pictures

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”

Steve Fanagan (sound designer), Jonathan Blagrove (sound recordist), Pete Smith, Adrian Medhurst (re-recording mixers)

Searchlight Pictures

“Good Night Oppy”

Mark Mangini (sound design and re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

“Lightyear”

Ren Klyce (re-recording mixer, supervising sound editors), Coya Elliott (supervising sound editor), Stephen Urala (re-recording mixer), Paul McGrath (production sound mixer)

Pixar

“Living”

Dylan Voigt (production sound mixer), Stephen Griffiths (supervising sound editor), Andy Shelley (supervising sound editor)

Sony Pictures Classics

“Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile”

Erin Oakley, Kami Asgar, Mark Paterson, Anna Behlmer, Whit Norris

Sony Pictures

“Master”

Robert Hein (sound designer), Dimitri Kouri (production sound mixer), Robert Fernandez (re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

“Matilda”

To be added

Netflix

“Minions: The Rise of Gru”

Tim Nielsen (supervising sound editor, sound designer, re-recording mixer), Steve Slanec (supervising sound editor), Brandon Proctor (re-recording mixer)

Illumination/Universal Pictures

“Montana Story”

Michael Primmer (sound mixer), Paul Hsu (re-recording mixer)

Bleecker Street

“Mr. Malcolm’s List”

Hugh Fox (sound mixer), Ben Baird (sound designer, re-recording mixer)

Bleecker Street

“My Policeman”

Peter Lindsay (production sound mixer), Ian Wilson, Dan Morgan (supervising sound editors), Steve Single (re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

“Nanny”

Matt Perry Thomas (production sound mixer), Dave Flynch (supervising sound editor), Paul Hsu (sound designer), Skip Lievsay (re-recording mixer)

Amazon Studios

“Navalny”

Marcus Vetter (production sound), Jonathan Greber (supervising sound editor), Pete Horner (re-recording mixer)

CNN/Warner Bros.

“Nope”

Johnnie Burn (supervising sound editor, sound designer, re-recording mixer), Jose Antonio Garcia (production sound mixer)

Universal Pictures

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”

Julian Slater (re-recording mixer, supervising sound editor), Greg P. Russell (re-recording mixer), Jason W. Jennings (supervising sound editor)

Universal Pictures

“RRR”

Raghunath Kemisetty (sound designer), Boloy Kumar Doloi, Rahul Karpe (re-recording mixers)

Variance Films

“See How They Run”

Martin Beresford (production sound mixer), Danny Sheehan (supervising sound editor), Paul Carter (re-recording mixer), Paul Cotterell (re-recording mixer)

Searchlight Pictures

“She Said”

Leslie Shatz (sound designer, re-recording mixer), James Baker (production sound mixer)

Universal Pictures

“Strange World”

Shannon Millers (supervising sound editor), Samson Neslund (sound designer), Gabriel Guy (production sound mixer, re-recording mixer), Bill Higley (production sound mixer, ADR mixer), David E. Flur (supervising re-recording mixer)

Walt Disney Pictures

“The Bad Guys”

Julian Slater, Michael Babcock, Tim Nielsen (re-recording mixers)

Universal Pictures

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Simon Willis (production sound mixer), Joakim Sundström (supervising sound editor), Chris Burdon, Johnathan Rush (re-recording mixer)

Searchlight Pictures

“The Batman”

Stuart Wilson (production sound mixer), William Files, Douglas Murray (supervising sound editors), Andy Nelson, William Files (re-recording mixers)

Warner Bros.

“The Bob’s Burgers Movie”

Todd Toon (supervising sound editor), Warren Shaw (re-recording mixer, supervising sound editor), Ron Bartlett (re-recording mixer), John Sanacore (foley mixer, supervisor)

20th Century Studios

“The Fabelmans”

Gary Rydstrom (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer), Brian Chumney (supervising sound editor), Andy Nelson (re-recording mixer), Ronald Judkins (production sound mixer)

Universal Pictures

“The Menu”

Rich Bologna (supervising sound editor/sound designer), Todd Weaver, Jason Sullivan (production sound mixers)

Searchlight Pictures

“The Son”

David Lascelles (production sound mixer), Niv Adiri (supervising sound designer, re-recording mixer), Linda Foresen (dialogue supervisor)

Sony Pictures Classics

“The Woman King”

Becky Sullivan, Kevin O’Connell, Tony Lamberti, Derek Mansvelt

Sony Pictures

“Thirteen Lives”

Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate (supervising sound editors), Chris Burdon, William Miller (re-recording mixers), Paul “Salty” Brincat (production sound mixer)

Amazon Studios/MGM

“Till”

Philip Stockton (supervising sound editor), Michael Barry (re-recording mixer)

Orion/United Artists Releasing

“Top Gun: Maverick”

Mark Weingarten (production sound mixer), James H. Mather, Al Nelson (supervising sound editors), Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor (re-recording mixers)

Paramount Pictures

“Turning Red”

Coya Elliott (supervising sound editor), Ren Klyce (supervising sound editor, re-recording mixer), Stephen Urata (re-recording mixer), Vince Caro (original dialogue mixer)

Pixar

“Where the Crawdads Sing”

Ai-Ling Lee, Susan Dawes, Kevin O’Connell, Tony Lamberti, Paul Ledford

Sony Pictures

“Wildcat”

Lawrence Everson (supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer), Miriam Cole (dialogue editor), Jesse Herrera (sound designer), Franziska Treutler, Pete Burgis (foley artists)

Amazon Studios

“Women Talking”

David McCallum, Jane Tattersall (supervising sound editors), Lou Solakofski, Joe Morrow (re-recording mixers)

MGM/United Artists Releasing

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.

2022 category winner: "Dune" (Warner Bros.) - Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett

About Variety Awards Circuit:

Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes -- Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety's leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.

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