Categories One-by-One: Film Editing

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Film Editing

Postby Sabin » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:37 pm

I was happier reading this year's Oscar nominations than I'd been in years, and this is the place where my heart sank. No Film Editing nomination for Lady Bird or Get Out. This is the one batch of nominees where I found myself saying out loud "What were they thinking?" Especially in the case of Lady Bird, which has a pacing that is so pivotal to its identity as it leapfrogs from moment to moment. Can we just chalk it up to an abundance of alternatives?

Best Film Editing, Sound Mixing, and Sound Effects are between two very different British filmmakers: Christopher Nolan and Edgar Wright. I remain conflicted but largely underwhelmed by both of their films, but I would like it very much if Baby Driver triumphed over Dunkirk. Both films give the impression that they were edited and mixed long before shooting began and that is truly remarkable, but there's something so damn clinical to Nolan's filmmaking here that I can't get behind it. It's a style of editing that wants to remind you how impressive what he's doing at all times and may as well feature an Eisenstein hashtag at the bottom of the frame.

The one thing working against Dunkirk (aside from the fact that Baby Driver arguably features The Most Editing) is the fact that the editors didn't go for Nolan's schtick the first time he tried it with Inception, which shockingly missed out on a nomination. Having rewatched Baby Driver this past week, I too wonder if Baby Driver has a better shot than some would suspect. I still don't like it very much, but it has moments of charm and there is just as much personality to its editing as with Lady Bird. There's of course the opening scene set to "Bellbottoms," but also the Diner scene later on it set to "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up" which is very suspenseful.

I predict Dunkirk but prefer Baby Driver, with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri slightly behind. Only some wan pacing in the second half (and some curious scene placement choices) prevents me from choosing it.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Film Editing

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:31 am

Since I apparently inspired this thread, I ought to weigh in.

Like BJ, I'm ready to cast off three of the nominees:

I, Tonya has some flashy editing but not in great enough volume to overcome its absence from the best picture sphere (in fact, you could view it as a failed best picture candidate).

Three Billboards and Shape of Water are here on the strength of being major best picture contenders -- these nominations speak to their prominence in the overall race (just as Get Out's absence feels like a negative for the film). There was a time when a film could win editing simply for being the best picture sweeper -- The Sound of Music, Patton and The Sting didn't take the category on merit -- but those days seem to be gone (Unforgiven is the last arguable case). Shape of Water would be the one more likely of the two to pull off the trick, but it's a negligible chance.

Like BJ, I entered the season thinking Dunkirk would run away with this. I especially thought that when Baby Driver lost the comedy ACE to I, Tonya. But it won the BAFTA (and had tied with Dunkirk at the Broadcasters). And it most definitely seems to be in the same category as movies like The Matrix or The Bourne Ultimatum -- films that are so prized for their editing flash that they have a chance despite not being in the best picture mix. Put it this way: absent Dunkirk, I think Baby Driver would be an easy winner here.

I still think Dunkirk wins in the end -- major use of editing throughout, and (despite its disappointing awards run) a widely-admired piece of work. But I'll be more attentive to the envelope-open than I thought I'd be a few weeks back.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Film Editing

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:34 pm

This category feels like a tight race between the top two, with the rest also-rans.

I, Tonya just doesn't feel like it has enough credentials to triumph. This isn't to say it's a head-scratcher of a nominee or anything -- it's got the flashy cutting of the skating sequences, as well as the time-hopping mockumentary style cross-cuts, that qualified it for the nomination. But it isn't a Best Picture nominee, and it doesn't have enough dazzle in the editing to be a Girl With the Dragon Tattoo/Bourne Ultimatum-style winner.

Three Billboards is a handsomely cut piece -- surely the fact that it's such a gripping thriller can be chalked up in part to the pace of the cutting. But nothing about it screams winner in this category -- a film it's often been compared to, No Country for Old Men, lost here with (I'd say) better odds.

I guess if The Shape of Water REALLY sweeps, this could be a category it carries along -- it's another film recognized for the engaging, propulsive nature of its thriller plot. But it feels like a lot of other tech categories are more likely places for it to win, and I just don't see it being so dominant enough to prevail here too.

It appears this race comes down to Dunkirk, the film I thought would probably take this prize when I saw it last summer, and Baby Driver, which has crashed into this competition with a decent tech haul and a BAFTA in this category. I still think the Best Picture heat, the flashily cut action sequences, and the multiple timelines will give the edge to Dunkirk, but I do think Baby Driver has enough wildly cut chase sequences to be a Dragon Tattoo/Bourne-type spoiler if voters are more interested in honoring the well-liked crowd-pleaser with strong tech credentials somewhere.

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Categories One-by-One: Film Editing

Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:14 am

Taking my cue from Mister Tee in the Sound Mixing/Sound Editing thread.

The nominees:
Baby Driver
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three types of films get Best Editing nominations: Best Picture front-runners, war films and action films. Three Billboards and The Shape of Water because they largely belong to the first category. Even if Three Billboards does win Best Picture, it will not sweep in Editing along since it's pretty much a straightforward narrative that's effectively edited and those don't usually win. The Shape of Water, however, is the type of Best Picture nominee that DOES sometime get Editing swept in along the way since it is a technical achievement so its win is very possible.

I, Tonya is one of those unique cases in that it doesn't fall to any of the three categories. It must have been fairly close to a Best Picture nomination for it to show up here but one can see why it did show up. The combination of editing the ice skating sequences as well as the mockumentary format won enough admiration in the Editing branch for it to get a nomination. But I think it's 4th at best.

Dunkirk does tick a lot of the boxes. It's war picture. It's a Best Picture nominee. It juggles three story lines and three time lines. This can easily win here. HOWEVER, I have heard rumblings from certain members that they found it "confusing" and that they often find themselves lost in at one point of the story they are in because of all the cutting back and forth. This is probably why Baby Driver could be the beneficiary. It's an action film and a very well-liked original blockbuster. It's got lots of editing since much has been written about how it edits to the beat of the music. It upset at the BAFTA so it's very possible it could upset at the Oscars.

Dunkirk will probably win but it should be worried for Baby Driver.

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