Sunday, February 15, 2009


The category of Film Editing is oft overlooked by Oscar watchers. While it's true, the names aren't recognizable, and who cares what they're wearing, the editing of a feature film truly determines its watchability. Take last year's winner, for example, The Bourne Ultimatum. Its fast cut, multi-directional action sequences were edited perfectly so that they matched the tone and pace of the rest of the movie. Without that style of editing, it would have been a different film entirely (although Damon would have totally still killed a dude with a book, which still would have been sweet). The fun thing about this award at the Oscars is that the favorite film doesn't have to take it all. Yes, sometimes the winner of this category coincides with the Best Picture winner (usually terrible winners such as Crash, The English Patient, Forrest Gump) but often the film that wins this category isn't even nominated for bigger prizes (The Matrix, Star Wars, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?). Let's take a look at this years incredibly disappointing nominees in the worst year for film in the history of celluloid:

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall
HAHA, wait no. You're not serious right? I can think of more than forty minutes off the top of my head that could have been edited out. Like all that old timey lightning shit. And the parts in New Orleans. Angus Wall is David Fincher's go to editor, so I'm surprised Wall isn't close enough with the director to have said "Hey David, this movie is a steaming pile of shit, hows about I cut some of it out for you?" And beyond the fact that I hate it, its odds of winning this category are slim, the backlash is strong for this "movie."

The Dark Knight - Lee Smith
This dude is Christopher Nolan's editor and Jane Campion's sound designer, so I'd be down for a win for this one. Plus, the Academy often recognizes achievements by action movies in this category, and this was the mother of all critically acclaimed action movies. I don't think this will pull it off in the end, but it could. It'll be close.

Frost/Nixon - Daniel P Hill & Mike Hill
I don't know how hard it is to edit a film to look like a documentary about a documentary, but they, uh, sure did it. So....good? No? Yeah whatever, no chance.

Milk - Elliot Graham & Gus Van Sant
Yes please. The editing here made the audience feel the movie was set in a certain place at a certain time without resorting to idiot time period referencing tactics (a la Forrest Button), and its tense pacing helped set the tone for the film. Winner. But probably not.

Slumdog Millionaire - Chris Dickens
I still haven't seen this. Get off my back. Maybe if you people didn't talk about how fucking awesome and inspiring this movie was all the goddamn time I'd be interested in seeing it.

Oh but yea, that'll win. F'sure.

No comments: