Editing and The Best Picture

23 01 2009

I love an article in today’s Los Angeles Times.   Called “Can ‘The Reader’ win best picture without an editing nomination?”  It basically lays out the statistics about how few films have ever won for Best Picture without a Best Editing award.

The article doesn’t examine any of the whys behind this, but I’ve long said that most Oscar voters don’t really have a good enough idea what editing is (“It’s cool cutting, right?”) to separate best film and best editing.  If they like a film they’re generally going to vote for it for best editing. That’s why Best Editing winners are often good predictors of what’s going to win for Best Picture later in the awards show.  For me, this means that something that the editors have not judged worthy of a nomination (to reiterate, only editors members can nominate for best editing — everyone can, however, vote in the category once the nominees have been chosen) is rarely going to inspire a filmmaking awe in the Academy as a whole.

Any thoughts on this?



One response to “Editing and The Best Picture”

28 01 2009
BK Garceau (09:05:34) :

very interesting article. The numbers bring the picture together. I was aware of the nominations for the best edited category are selected by editors. But I was not aware that everyone in the academy could vote for the best edited film. It makes sense, but at the same it’s kind of disheartening knowing that your peers (in this case other editors) are not the ones making the final decisions. I guess the nomination is a great honor.

Would this explain why the ACE choice sometimes differ from the academy? Do you have an opinion on which group has been more accurate? At least in your opinion?

And the similarities of best picture and best edited film nominations make great sense. Ideally a best picture should don the best edited award, for telling a very effective story.

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