There is this idea in Oscar predicting that the Best Editing category is a strong predictor of Best Picture. Netting a nomination in this category is a good sign for any Best Picture hopeful. There isn’t any rhyme or reason to this correlation, as far as I know. But the numbers bear it out. Since 1980, only one film has won Best Picture without being nominated for Best Editing. That film was Birdman, a film notable for its hidden edits in an attempt to appear as though it were one shot. This sounds similar to a recent Best Picture nominee who didn’t receive a Best Editing nomination…huh. Interesting.
What is of import to this article, though, is not the Best Picture potential of 1917. It is the potential of the five nominees for Best Editing.
- Ford v Ferrari
- The Irishman
- Jojo Rabbit
Will Win: Parasite
Could Win: Ford v Ferrari
Dark Horse: Joker
It may be important to note that the winner for Best Editing does not often correlate with the winner for Best Picture. So a film like Ford v Ferrari, which has almost no chance of pulling out the upset for Best Picture, still has a substantial shot in this category. The editing during the racing sequences in that film are what voters will be remembering when they cast their ballots. The experts at GoldDerby currently have Ford v Ferrari way out in front in this category. It certainly could win it, but I have my doubts.
Parasite recently won the ACE Eddie award, recognizing it for having the best editing in a drama feature (Jojo Rabbit won for comedy, but in a field comprised of no other Oscar nominees). Perhaps I am clouding my judgment, as I personally think Parasite deserves to win in this category, but there is genuine reason to put the film above the rest of the pack. The editing in the film is rather impeccable, including a lengthy montage involving essentially every character in the film. And there are plenty of interviews across the web with editor Jinmo Yang about his process working with Bong Joon Ho, which can only help his campaign.
The result in Best Editing may depend on how the Academy writ large feels about Parasite. It has had mixed results this awards season. For example, it recently won the Screen Actors Guild equivalent of Best Picture despite not receiving a single acting nomination from the Academy. Meanwhile, it lost the Producers Guild Award to 1917. If the Academy winds up favoring Parasite, then it will easily win Best Editing. But if it has more of a mixed response, then Ford v Ferrari will likely win.
Figuring out how the Academy likes Parasite comes down to a bit of conjecture, but I think the SAG awards were illuminating in this regard. Yes, Parasite received no acting nominations, but potential Best Supporting Actor candidate Christian Bale was absent from the Academy’s acting nominations, as well. Given that the acting guild gave Parasite the Best Ensemble award and the acting branch is the largest branch of the Academy, it is not a stretch to assume that they appreciate the film.
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)