Sunday, February 25, 2018

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Film Editing

The competition: Baby Driver (Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos), Dunkirk (Lee Smith), I, Tonya (Tatiana S. Riegel), The Shape of Water (Sidney Wolinsky), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Jon Gregory)

Previous winners: Hacksaw Ridge, Mad Max: Fury Road, Whiplash, Gravity, Argo, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!

The facts: Only one of these nominees has been cited before, and that’s Smith, who contended for “Master and Commander” and “The Dark Knight.” Only five times since the 1960s have films not nominated for Best Picture taken this award, which doesn’t bode well for “Baby Driver” and “I, Tonya,” which are each up for just two other prizes. The winner of this award, however, hasn’t gone on to win Best Picture since “Argo” in 2012, and it’s actually much more common for the two not to match up. At the ACE Eddie Awards, “Dunkirk” bested “The Shape of Water” in the drama category and “I, Tonya” beat the other two in the comedy race. Four of the last ten Oscars winners, including last year’s, didn’t win either ACE Eddie. At BAFTA, where “I, Tonya” wasn’t nominated, “Baby Driver” took this prize.

Who should win: The construction of “I, Tonya” is clever and fast-paced but also irritating at times. Fans of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” might advocate for it, but I found its narrative to be uneven and less than compelling in the way that it was assembled. “Baby Driver” is a fun inclusion, and though I don’t think it’s worthy of a win, it would be cool. “The Shape of Water” flows very well and remains furiously interesting throughout, but I’d probably vote for the very careful and deliberate structure employed to great effect in “Dunkirk.”

Who will win: With two top Best Picture contenders – “Get Out” and “Lady Bird” – not in this race and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” weakened by the snub of its director, this is a race between “The Shape of Water” and Dunkirk, and I’ll put my money firmly on the latter. If “I, Tonya” or “Baby Driver” won, I’d be truly surprised.

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