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Predictions: Best Sound Winning Veterans Take On Potential First-Timers Vying for Academy Attention

Other contenders include Raghunath Kemisetty, Mark Mangini, Kevin O'Connell, Gary Rydstrom and Rachael Tate

©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

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.


CATEGORY COMMENTARY: Celebrating 25 years since James Cameron’s “Titanic” (1997) tied for the most wins ever and the Oscar ceremony itself, which boasted the highest ratings in Academy history, some of the same artisans are in the race again. Those include sound designers Mark Mangini (“The Fifth Element” and “Good Night Oppy”), Gary Rydstrom (“Titanic” and “The Fabelmans”) and Kevin O’Connell (“Con Air” and “The Woman King”).

Supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer Gary Rydstrom (“The Fabelmans”) has netted seven statuettes throughout his incredible career — “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (sound and sound effects), “Jurassic Park” (sound and sound effects), “Titanic” (sound) and “Saving Private Ryan” (sound and sound effects editing). Since his last win in 1999 for “Ryan,” he’s picked up eight more nods in that timeframe including four outings with Steven Spielberg — “War Horse” (2011), “Lincoln” (2012), “Bridge of Spies” (2015) and “West Side Story” (2021).

There’s also recent winner Mark Mangini with the documentary “Good Night Oppy,” fresh off his win for “Dune” (2021) and has another trophy for “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015). Kevin O’Connell hasn’t been nominated since his win for “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016), which marked his first win after 21 nominations, beginning with “Terms of Endearment” (1983). This year, he’s offered his signature beats on Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King,” an action-epic that could find its way into the lineup.

Mangini, O’Connell and Rydsrom aren’t the only veterans contending as Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate are pulling double duties with “Empire of Light” and “Thirteen Lives” after getting nominated for “1917.”

The veterans could face competition from some newcomers such as the team behind the Indian epic “RRR” (Raghunath Kemisetty, sound designer, Boloy Kumar Doloi and Rahul Karpe, re-recording mixers) and “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (Brent Kiser, supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer, Andrew Twite, sound designer, Stephen Nelson, production sound mixer, and Alexandra Fehrman and Ian Chase, re-recording mixers). We’ll see how they stand up to the bigger names and companies in the race.

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