Unless there's a huge controversy, I don't usually know much about the best editing Academy Award. While often confused with the movie that might have the most cuts, or the most stylistic, the best-edited movie of the year needs to build the final story, collaborating with the writing and direction to make what happens on screen the fulfillment of the goals of everyone involved.
Think of editing as a translator, sorting through the tower of Babel of the director, cinematographer, and screenwriter to push through a final language that anyone watching can understand.
In 2021, the movies nominated for best editing Oscars include Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Nomadland, The Sound of Metal, and The Father.
Check out this video from Thomas Flight where he analyzes this years' nominees.
Who Should Win the Academy Award for Best Editing This Year?
With all the time to sit at home this year, it's rare, but I have seen every nominee already. That's why I felt comfortable posting about who I think should win. I found this year's films to be refreshing and exciting. While I wish there was a little more diversity in genre here, I truly enjoyed every movie in the category.
Watching Flight's video gave me a newfound love for the stories that hit the screen. I loved the dissection of the scenes, especially that lunch in Promising Young Woman, that set the stage not just for the basics of editing, but how the power shifted at the table.
I also liked the slow burn approach in Nomadland, whose subtle edits and longer takes really steeped us in the power of the world and the subculture we had never really seen.
The editing in The Father had a similar effect on me. That movie was so depressing, it's hard for me to talk about it at length without being in awe of the people who worked on it. The editing there has to convey changes within a character, but unlike The Sound of Metal, sound design can't aid in showing the internal changes. It's really interesting.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 was the movie here with the most stylistic editing. The rapid pace made it breezy and really speeds up the action. But I did miss the opportunity to catch our breath, especially in the more visceral courtroom and protest scenes.
So who deserves to win? This is a tough choice, and this year's editing category contained nothing bad. Whose editing takes the audience through well-timed cuts at critical points, using the relationship between the images to tell the story?
Thomas considers it to be a toss-up between Nomadland and The Sound of Metal, and I tend to agree. He gave the edge to The Sound of Metal, and I wavered there because I think so much of the work is done in the sound design, but since it's my favorite movie this year, I think it deserves the nod as well.
What about you? Did this video make you have a strong opinion about who should win in this category? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Thomas Flight