Best Sound Mixing
Will Win - La La Land
Should Win - Arrival
Could Win - Arrival or Hacksaw Ridge
Commentary - Musicals, or even musically inclined films win Sound Mixing: Whiplash, Les Miserables, Dreamgirls, Ray, Chicago. I expect La La Land to join the list. The CAS Awards are this Saturday. I expect La La Land to win there as well. If something dramatic happens, it might change the pick, but with the whole Academy voting, probably not.
Best Sound Editing
Will Win - Arrival
Should Win - Arrival
Could Win - Hacksaw Ridge or La La Land
Commentary - No live musical has ever been nominated for Best Sound Editing, so we are in uncharted territory. They could just check off La La Land, as this award often goes to the same movie. All those musicals that won Sound Mixing might have gotten similar treatment had they gotten a nomination here. Or it is that they thing that musicals simply have better mixing, and less effects added on the editing side. I am going with theory #2 because history suggests that it is the better path. Hacksaw Ridge feels like a perfect choice here, as American Sniper, Zero Dark Thirty and other war films have done well in the past. But I think that after its BAFTA win for Sound (a combined category), that there is going to be a desire to honor Arrival somewhere. It is such a favorite among the technical branches this year, and this could be the place to reward it, as their British peers did this weekend.
Best Visual Effects
Will Win - The Jungle Book
Could Win - Doctor Strange or Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Should Win - The Jungle Book
Commentary - After last year's Ex Machina shocker, I am a bit hesitant in this category. But honestly, I don't know how Academy voters pass up The Jungle Book here, because in terms of the quality and importance of the visual effects it is miles above its competition. However, Doctor Strange and Rogue One got some nominations in other categories showcasing a broad support across other categories, plus they are more recent films and might be on voters' minds more so than a film that came out in March. All of that being said, I really don't think either will overtake The Jungle Book.
Best Animated Short - Piper
Best Documentary Short - Joe's Violin
Best Live Action Short - La Femme et le TGV