Monday, April 27, 2009

"One Category at a Time" - Best Film Editing

This is always the most important category to be nominated in. To have a hope of winning Best Picture, a Film Editing nomination is a MUST. There are plenty of possibilities this year, but here are the five I consider most likely as of now:

Michael Mann’s Public Enemies is being edited by Jeffrey Ford and Paul Rubel (nominated twice previously for collaborations with Mann, Collateral and The Insider). The Academy usually tries to make room for a well-received summer blockbuster or action film in this category. It’s unclear right now just how successful Public Enemies will be, but it fits the mold.

Gary Roach and Oscar-winner Joel Cox (Unforgiven) are behind Clint Eastwood’s likely awards vehicle about Nelson Mandela. Simply by virtue of being (potentially) a strong Best Picture contender, we can count this one in for, the moment. Plus, word is that it’s something of a sports movie, and that would give Cox and Roach plenty of opportunity for quick cuts and fast transitions.

There is yet no word on who will be editor of Rob Marshall’s Nine, but my guess is Martin Walsh, who won an Oscar for Marshall’s musical triumph Chicago. It’s worth noting that the type of music in Nine is not the same jazzy stuff Chicago was made of, which removes the opportunity for the editor to really show off, but whoever it is still has the prestige of the film and the Best Picture factor to boost his/her chances.

Film editing legend Thelma Schoonmaker, a long-time collaborator with Martin Scorsese, has already won three Oscars for movies made by the master filmmaker. She could make it four this year with Scorsese’s noirsih thriller Shutter Island. Knowing Scorsese, we can expect action, suspense, intensity, the works. Schoonmaker’s bag of tricks never seems to be empty, and she’s well respected enough to be nominated even if the film disappoints.

Finally, I’ll go out on a limb for a comedy, a genre that’s been grossly underrepresented in this category in the past. But Taking Woodstock, edited by Oscar-nominee Tim Squyres, might just have enough prestige from its director Ang Lee to put itself in contention.

Predicted five
Nelson Mandela
Nine
Public Enemies
Shutter Island
Taking Woodstock

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