Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One Category at a Time: Best Film Editing

With the Best Picture field now ten-deep, it's safe to assume that all the Film Editing nominees are going to come from the Best Picture lineup.

One of the names I feel relatively confident in calling is Lee Smith, who has two potential Best Picture contenders with Christopher Nolan's Inception and Peter Weir's The Way Back. He was nominated for his most recent collaborations with those same two directors (Master and Commander and The Dark Knight), but will he get in for both? They both look like strong Editing contestants on paper, boasting Best Picture prestige and action elements that the Academy may find irresistible.

Another perennial hopeful is Pietro Scalia, one of the best in the business, who's previous credits include Black Hawk Down and JFK (the best film editing achievement I've ever seen), for both of which he won an Oscar. Frequent collaborations with Ridley Scott have afforded Scalia with wonderful opportunities to show off his formidable talents with scene pacing and action set-piece construction. Robin Hood seems like another such opportunity.

And how about a boxing movie? films like Cinderella Man, Raging Bull, and Rocky were all nominated for their intense sparring scenes, with the two former ones going on to win. Pamela Martin (Little Miss Sunshine) takes up the cutting duties for David O'Russell's The Fighter, and could find herself in the running for a first career nomination.

And of course, we have Terrence Malick's mystery-shrouded The Tree of Life. A venerable cavalcade of editors are attached to this project, including Daniel Rezende (nominated in 2004 for City of God, for which he should have won), and Billy Weber (nominated in 1999 for Malick's The Thin Red Line). Again, it's the Best Picture factor that prompts me to guess The Tree of Life here. But who knows if it'll live up to expectations after a year of hype?

Predicted five:
Pamela Martin for The Fighter
Lee Smith for Inception
Pietro Scalia for Robin Hood
Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz, Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber, & Mark Yoshikawa for The Tree of Life
Lee Smith for The Way Back

Also consider: ??? for The A-Team, Christopher Rouse for Green Zone, Richard Marks for How Do You Know, Stuart Baird & John Gilroy for Salt, Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall for The Social Network, Joel & Ethan Coen for True Grit.

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