Categories One-by-One: Editing

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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:51 am

Tilda Swinton remains my first choice, but of the actual nominees I like Mirren best.

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Postby Bog » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:21 am

Damien wrote:Bright Star's costumes are the year's best, and Abbie Cornish is mucj more deserving than any of the 5 actual nominees.

I am liking this...I thought for sure I was brushed aside in the actual Bright Star thread for liking the film and not finding it utterly dull and uninteresting.

Abbie Cornish is right up there with Mulligan absolutely, for me with Swinton and Moreau

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Postby OscarGuy » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:27 am

I don't know if I consider Cornish better than Gabourey Sidibe (haven't thought about that comparison yet) and I haven't seen Mirren or Mulligan, but Cornish is definitely better than either Sandra Bullock or Meryl Streep, IMO. Very disappointing she couldn't have been more of a contender. I'd also rank Shohreh Aghdashloo above those ladies.
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Postby Damien » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:51 am

Bright Star's costumes are the year's best, and Abbie Cornish is mucj more deserving than any of the 5 actual nominees.
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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Feb 24, 2010 10:57 pm

rolotomasi99 wrote:I am so hoping BRIGHT STAR is able to upset THE YOUNG VICTORIA in the costume category.

I'm with you there, too, so let's celebrate one thing we can all agree on.

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Postby rolotomasi99 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:01 pm

Damien wrote:
rolotomasi99 wrote:So you did not like my favorite film of the year (THE HURT LOCKER) nor my third favorite film of the year (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE). Did you like my second favorite film of the year (BRIGHT STAR)?

I do like Bright Star And wish it had gotten more love from the Academy.

:D Yay!

Agreed. Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, L. Actress (Cornish), and Cinematography noms were very much deserved.

I am so hoping BRIGHT STAR is able to upset THE YOUNG VICTORIA in the costume category.
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Postby Damien » Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:48 pm

rolotomasi99 wrote:So you did not like my favorite film of the year (THE HURT LOCKER) nor my third favorite film of the year (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE). Did you like my second favorite film of the year (BRIGHT STAR)?

I do like Bright Star And wish it had gotten more love from the Academy.




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Postby rolotomasi99 » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:59 pm

Damien wrote:Rolo, I really like your "chaos" theory regarding editing, and I think it probably holds true more often than not in recent years. I don't really see Precious fitting into this mold, however. As a small-scale film, Precious's pre-edited footage probably still followed the script fairly closely. The other thing Up In The Air had going for it besides its perfect tempo was all tat footage of people getting fired and giving their reactions.

I remember as a kid being shocked that The Odd Couple was nominated for Editing. My Dad explained to me that every time there was a shot of one of the guys saying or doing something at the poker table, it had been an individual set up, and that all the footage had to be spliced together to make it look like one continuous poker match. I still think the editing in that film is clunky, but that explanation helped me understand film editing a lot more.

Rolo, you'l undoubtedly want to throw a frying pan at, or drop a TV on, me for saying such, but as far as I'm concerned the only way Where The Wild Things Are would deserve an editing nomination would be if the editor cut the negative up into little pieces and flushed them down the toilet. Hell, he wouldn't have just deserved Best Editing, he would be worthy of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.


There is a scene in PRECIOUS where she is riding the elevator up to her new school. The first shot is a close-up of her face at eye level, then it quickly cuts to an almost exact framing of her face but this time the camera is above her looking down as she looks up into the camera. I remember thinking at the time "what a strange edit." I still do not know what the point of the cut was, but it sure seemed like someone felt the elevator ride needed several jarring jump cuts in it for some reason. That strikes me as pretty chaotic, or maybe hyperactive is the word.

I am not sure what movie it was, but I remember being like 8 years old when I figured out for myself that movies were put together through a series of takes. Up until that point I always assumed movies were edited like multi-camera sit-coms, where several cameras caught the same take from multiple angles. I always wondered how they kept us from seeing the other camera over the actors shoulders. Then I had this little "ah ha" moment where I realized they filmed a scene with the camera in one angle, and then moved the camera to the other side and shot it again. It was not until later that I realized if you did not see both actors in the frame, they were probably not actually talking to each other when filming the scene. Your story about THE ODD COUPLE made me think of that.

So you did not like my favorite film of the year (THE HURT LOCKER) nor my third favorite film of the year (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE). Did you like my second favorite film of the year (BRIGHT STAR)?




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Postby Damien » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:02 am

Rolo, I really like your "chaos" theory regarding editing, and I think it probably holds true more often than not in recent years. I don't really see Precious fitting into this mold, however. As a small-scale film, Precious's pre-edited footage probably still followed the script fairly closely. The other thing Up In The Air had going for it besides its perfect tempo was all tat footage of people getting fired and giving their reactions.

I remember as a kid being shocked that The Odd Couple was nominated for Editing. My Dad explained to me that every time there was a shot of one of the guys saying or doing something at the poker table, it had been an individual set up, and that all the footage had to be spliced together to make it look like one continuous poker match. I still think the editing in that film is clunky, but that explanation helped me understand film editing a lot more.

rolotomasi99 wrote:
For me, the PRECIOUS nomination should have gone to WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. There was a film which was probably painstakingly story-boarded and planned out with all the f/x, but had a very naturalistic and funny feel to it. Along with its cinematography and music, this film was really robbed of a deserving nomination.


Rolo, you'l undoubtedly want to throw a frying pan at, or drop a TV on, me for saying such, but as far as I'm concerned the only way Where The Wild Things Are would deserve an editing nomination would be if the editor cut the negative up into little pieces and flushed them down the toilet. Hell, he wouldn't have just deserved Best Editing, he would be worthy of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.




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Postby anonymous1980 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:24 pm

Here's a great video of an editor who's also an Academy member breaking down the Editing nominees for us through her expert eye.

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Postby rolotomasi99 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:42 pm

While I certainly was as surprised as anyone at the editing nomination for PRECIOUS, I offer my humble hypothesis on why it was nominated over UP IN THE AIR.

The art of editing (as rewarded by the Academy these days) seems to be bringing order to chaos. CRASH, THE BOURNE IDENTITY, TRAFFIC, BLACK HAWK DOWN, and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE felt almost like documentaries in the way they were edited. Even more traditionally edited winners like CHICAGO, THE RETURN OF THE KING, THE AVIATOR, and THE DEPARTED had a certain "chaos" feel to them.

If you look at how UP IN THE AIR is shot and edited, it feels as meticulously put together as a Wes Anderson film. One of the most well-edited sequences is the airport security monologue. You can clearly see how anally Reitman set up each shot and insert. It feels incredibly story-boarded and cut into puzzle pieces that the editor just glued together.

From the point of view of the editors in the Academy, this was the equivalent of paint-by-numbers rather than creating a collage of different pieces and putting them together in a way that works.

Again, I am not saying PRECIOUS deserved that nomination more than UP IN THE AIR, but that seems to be how the latter film seems out of place from the editors branch's taste while the former fits right in.

For me, the PRECIOUS nomination should have gone to WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. There was a film which was probably painstakingly story-boarded and planned out with all the f/x, but had a very naturalistic and funny feel to it. Along with its cinematography and music, this film was really robbed of a deserving nomination.
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Postby The Original BJ » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:00 pm

This is obviously one of the more evenly-matched Avatar/Hurt Locker face-offs, and whichever film wins obviously goes into the Best Picture race with some steam, sort of like the editing win for The Departed tipped off its eventual win.

But maybe not. I thought the big-ticket Gladiator was down for the count when it lost the Editing prize to the smaller, darker Traffic, but there it was at the end of night, receiving the Best Picture statue. Conversely, The Aviator dominated the down-ballot categories, even winning the Editing trophy a lot of people thought would go to Million Dollar Baby, but still lost Best Picture. So I think it's not impossible that Avatar could win as part of a tech sweep, but still lose Best Picture, or Hurt Locker could win for one of its most notable elements but still lose out to the blockbuster on the final envelope.

Like most, I'm betting on The Hurt Locker, since I agree that it'll likely win at least one other trophy in addition to its Director prize, and this is its best bet. As for what should win? Hurt Locker no question -- an astoundingly well-cut picture.

Scattered thoughts on the other nominees: Avatar's action sequences actually make sense, unlike a lot of action movies (i.e. Transformers), so I have to give the cutting credit for that, though I found the film hopelessly long. District 9 was pretty excitingly cut -- a well-deserved nominee. I'm with Mister Tee on Basterds -- on the whole, I thought it could have used a trim, but I also was hugely impressed with the work within a lot of the sequences (above all that tense tavern section); I'd endorse the nomination based on the many moments that DO work, because of the editing, rather than knock it for occasionally languid pacing.

Precious's editing sucks. I practically burst into laughter any time I hear mention of frying an egg.

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Postby ITALIANO » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:57 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Italiano, I'd agree that editing feels like an award The Hurt Locker NEEDS to win to really have a best picture shot. But, just food for thought: back in the previous years of ten nominees/graduated voting, You Can't Take It With You won only best picture/best director -- and Rebecca won only best picture/best B&W cinematography.

Yes, it's true, but that was really another era. I can't see this happening today (the You Can't Take It With You example even less realistic nowadays than the Rebecca one by the way).

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Postby OscarGuy » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:51 pm

And I'm not advocating that they lost because they weren't nominated for best editing. I advocate that when Brokeback Mountain was not nominated for best editing that we should have taken that as a hint that it wasn't nearly as well liked as we thought.

Take the Up in the Air/Precious debacle this year. No one here things Precious was better edited than Up in the Air, but what it does prove is that the Academy really loved Precious, enough to nominate it here (mind you that it's just editors voting here, but some would argue that a film that a film is made in the editing room and that editing is a key element of the best picture prize). This is more evinced in the triumph of Lee Daniels over a "lone-slot" director in Best Director.

So, when looking back at Crash/Brokeback Mountain, it's not a precise comparison, but is similar enough. Before Oscar season, Up in the Air was considered the strongest contender for Best Picture there was. It faltered through the awards season, which isn't what Brokeback did at all, but compares favorably with regard to the editing comparison. Who would have though Precious a better edited film than Up in the Air? Yet, it happened. Who would have thought Brokeback would lose to Crash? Yet, it happened.
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Postby Mister Tee » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:41 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Since the category started in 1934, only 9 films have won Best Picture without an editing nomination. That's an 88% success rate. I would hardly call that an inconsequential number.

Of course, from 1963 through 1980 -- my formative years watching the Oscars -- it was only true 13 of 18 times, which is hardly in "you might as well stay home if you don't get the nomination" territory. That's why I'm bothered by the ex post facto "inevitability" of Crash beating Brokeback -- Godfather II and Annie Hall were equally inevitable losers by this criterion, yet somehow managed to win.

Anyway, I'm not saying disregard the correlation. I'm saying I HOPE the correlation breaks down...just like I was delighted when the DGA started messing up as predictor. It all makes it more an adventure, rather than the mathemtical calculation it's increasingly become.

Italiano, I'd agree that editing feels like an award The Hurt Locker NEEDS to win to really have a best picture shot. But, just food for thought: back in the previous years of ten nominees/graduated voting, You Can't Take It With You won only best picture/best director -- and Rebecca won only best picture/best B&W cinematography.

Magilla, I'm not disagreeing with you that Crash was an undeserving winner, but I presume it was voted on the basis of cutting back and forth among multiple story lines...much the way Traffic was (far more meritoriously).


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