This year, as I did in 2015, I am again compiling a list of which films I think will win during the Academy Awards.
Best Visual Effects
2015 seemed to be the Year of the Bear when it came to visual effects, but the Star Wars: The Force Awakens team at ILM created a wide range of fantastic and believable effects that are sure to win out. After snatching 4 trophies at the VES awards, there seems to be little doubt as to the outcome of this category.
Best Animated Feature Film
There is a strong showing of animated feature nominees this year, but sadly, Inside Out is the only film from the major U.S. studios to be nominated. And previous years have shown that mainstream appeal weighs heavily with Academy voters. Besides that, the film is wonderfully endearing and original and has already received accolades, including a Golden Globe and 10 Annies.
Best Sound Editing
After already having received a BAFTA, Lon Blender and Martin Hernandez are promising candidates for picking up an Oscar in this category for The Revenant. Beyond that, however, their work is excellent. The Soundworks Collection has some good interviews on The Revenant and other Oscar-nominated films for sound here.
Best Sound Mixing
The broader Academy typically lumps sound editing and sound mixing together, so I am also naming The Revenant here.
Emmanuel Lubezki, the Oscar-winning DP for Gravity, gets my vote for his outstanding camera work on The Revenant. I have yet to see the film, but the clips I have seen display excellent work by Mr. Lubezki.
See the full list of nominees here: http://oscar.go.com/nominees/animated-feature-film.