Saturday, December 3, 2022

Predicting The 89th Academy Awards: Best Film Editing & Best Cinematography

By Matt Neglia Two of the most interesting Oscars for cinephiles around the world are the Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography Oscars. Film Editing dictates the flow of a film and how its story is told. Cinematography are the images that stay with you for a lifetime. If either aspect is poor within a film, it ultimately fails. The Academy has done a great job of recognizing some of the standout works from this year and now it is time to see if the guilds, critics and various factors from this season will be able to help us predict the winners in both categories.

​Click below for my in-depth analysis.

BEST FILM EDITING

Picture If you would have asked me early on in the season which film was going to walk away with Best Film Editing I would have told you “La La Land.” Truth be told, I still say “La La Land.” But the ACE and the BAFTA awards went to two different films and as a result we must go back in the history of the Critics Choice, the ACE and the BAFTA awards to find if there is any trends that will dictate a surprise winner in this category.

The five nominees this year for Best Film Editing are:

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

CRITICS CHOICE
2009: Avatar
2010: Inception
2011: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
2012: Zero Dark Thirty
2013: Gravity
2014: Birdman
2015: Mad Max: Fury Road
2016: La La Land
ACE
1967: The Dirty Dozen
1968: Bullitt
1969: Hello, Dolly
1970: Patton
1971: Summer Of 42
1972: Cabaret
1973: The Sting
1974: The Longest Yard
1975: Jaws
1976: Rocky
1977: The Turning Point
1978: The Deer Hunter
1979: All That Jazz
1980: Raging Bull
1981: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1982: Gandhi
1983: WarGames
1984: Amadeus
1985: Witness
1986: Platoon
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Rain Man
1989: Glory
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: JFK
1992: Unforgiven
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Forrest Gump
1995: Braveheart
1996: The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: Saving Private Ryan
1999: The Matrix & Being John Malkovich
2000: Gladiator & Almost Famous
2001: Black Hawk Down & Moulin Rouge
2002: Gangs Of New York & Chicago
2003: The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King & Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse of The Black Pearl
2004: The Aviator & Ray
2005: Crash & Walk The Line
2006: Babel & Dreamgirls
2007: The Bourne Ultimatum & Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
2008: Slumdog Millionaire & Wall-E
2009: The Hurt Locker & The Hangover
2010: The Social Network & Alive In Wonderland
2011: The Descendants & The Artist
2012: Argo & Silver Linings Playbook
2013: Captain Phillips & American Hustle
2014: Boyhood & The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015: Mad Max: Fury Road & The Big Short
2016: Arrival & La La Land
BAFTA
1967: The Graduate
1968: Midnight Cowboy
1969: Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
1970: Sunday Bloody Sunday
1972: The French Connection
1973: The Day Of The Jackal
1974: The Conversation
1975: Dog Day Afternoon
1976: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
1977: Annie Hall
1978: Midnight Express
1979: The Deer Hunter
1980: All That Jazz
1981: Raging Bull
1982: Missing
1983: Flashdance
1984: The Killing Fields
1985: Amadeus
1986: The Mission
1987: Platoon
1988: Fatal Attraction
1989: Mississippi Burning
1990: Goodfellas
1991: The Commitments
1992: JFK
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Speed
1995: The Usual Suspects
1996: The English Patient
1997: LA Confidential
1998: Shakespeare In Love
1999: American Beauty
2000: Gladiator
2001: Mulholland Drive
2002: City Of God
2003: Lost In Translation
2004: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
2005: The Contact Gardner
2006: United 93
2007: The Bourne Ultimatum
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: The Hurt Locker
2010: The Social Network
2011: Senna
2012: Argo
2013: Rush
2014: Whiplash
2015: Mad Max: Fury Road
​2016: Hacksaw Ridge
OSCAR
1967: In The Heat Of The Night
1968: Bullitt
1969: Z
1970: Patton
1971: The French Connection
1972: Cabaret
1973: The Sting
1974: The Towering Inferno
1975: Jaws
1976: Rocky
1977: Star Wars
1978: The Deer Hunter
1979: All That Jazz
1980: Raging Bull
1981: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1982: Gandhi
1983: The Right Stuff
1984: The Killing Fields
1985: Witness
1986: Platoon
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
1989: Born On The Fourth Of July
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: JFK
1992: Unforgiven
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Forrest Gump
1995: Apollo 13
1996: The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: Saving Private Ryan
1999: The Matrix
2000: Traffic
2001: Black Hawk Down
2002: Chicago
2003: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
2004: The Aviator
2005: Crash
2006: The Departed
2007: The Bourne Ultimatum
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: The Hurt Locker
2010: The Social Network
2011: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
2012: Argo
2013: Gravity
2014: Whiplash
2015: Mad Max: Fury Road
2016: ?

Ever since the Critics Choice Awards have been around, they have helped us on two occasions to predict the Oscar winner when different winners emerged at the ACE & the BAFTA which has ultimately happened this year. In 2013 when the ACE went with “Captain Phillips” & “American Hustle,” the BAFTA went with “Rush” but the Oscar went to “Gravity” which had won the Critics Choice Award. The same thing happened in 2011 when “The Descendants” & “The Artist” won the ACE, BAFTA went to “Senna” and the Oscars aligned with the Critics Choice and went with “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.” This year the Critics Choice went with “La La Land” and so did the ACE. ACE also chose “Arrival” which had it won BAFTA would be more of a threat. However, the BAFTA surprisingly went to “Hacksaw Ridge.”

So if the Oscar is between these three films, let’s see how they have done this season so far:

La La Land” – ACE, AFCS, BFCA, CFCS, COFCA, HFCS, OFCS, WAFCA
Hacksaw Ridge” – AACTA, BAFTA, PFCS
Arrival” – ACE, SFFCC

It would appear that “La La Land” is certainly the frontrunner here from a consensus standpoint, winning the majority of critics groups in its lead up to the Oscars and winning the Critics Choice and ACE. It’s almost baffling that it did not win the BAFTA. However, as long as the ACE has existed, the BAFTA’s have matched with the Oscars 16 times in 48 years, while the ACE have matched 22 times before expanding their award to include both Drama and Comedy/Musical winners and another 12 times after that. It also deserves to be mentioned that the Critics Choice have not had the best record in this category, only matching 3 times in 7 years but two of those times turned out to be the deciding factor in a BAFTA/ACE split (As stated above), where “Mad Max: Fury Road” swept the season. We have not had a situation yet where a film that won the Critics Choice and the ACE went on to win the Oscar after losing BAFTA, so if “La La Land” wins here it will be the first film to do so.

I ultimately think the combination of the ACE win, Critics Choice win and of course being the Best Picture frontrunner (Which usually helps considering 21 of the Best Picture winners in the last 48 years also won Best Film Editing), will give “La La Land” the edge here. BAFTA has historically the worse track record between itself and the ACE, so if there is to be an upset (Mind you, “La La Land” would be only the second ACE Winner in the Comedy/Musical category to win the Best Film Editing Oscar after “Chicago” and only the third musical film in 48 years to win this award), then I expect it will be “Arrival.” The San Francisco Film Critics Circle, which has been its only other win all season, has chosen “Argo,” “Gravity,” “Boyhood” & “Mad Max: Fury Road” as their winners for Best Film Editing. It’s a small group of winners, but three of the four went on to win the Oscar. It could be tighter than we think considering how much “Arrival” was praised for its story structure. Food for thought.

PREDICTED WINNER: “La La Land
RUNNER UP: “Arrival

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Best Cinematography Best Cinematography has been all over the place this season with “La La Land” trading wins with “Moonlight.” The Best Picture frontrunner finally took the lead later in the season and looks poised to win this category. But are we once again heading for yet another upset in the craft categories for this film?

The five nominees in this category are:

Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

In taking a look at each film’s awards throughout the season, this is how it breaks down so far.

La La Land” – AFCA, AFCS, BAFTA, BFCA, CFCS, COFCA, DFWFCA, FFCC, HFCS, HFCS, LVFCS, NCFCA, NFCS, NTFCA, OFCS, PFCS, SEFCA, StLFCA, UFCA, WAFCA
Moonlight” – AWFJ, BFCC, BOFCA, NSFC, NYFCC, NYFCO, LAFCA, SFFCC
Arrival” – SFCS
Lion” – ASC

With this in mind, I think we can take “Silence” out. As respected as its photography by Rodrigo prieto is, the momentum for that film is completely gone and it remains the film’s sole nomination. “Arrival” has only won one award all season from the Seattle Film Critics. They have handed out the cinematography award 7 times and of those times the only crossover was twice for Emmanuel Lubezki for “Gravity” and “Birdman” which were sweeper wins all season long, so “Arrival” is out.

That leaves it down to “La La Land,” “Lion” and “Moonlight.” The New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics all went with “Moonlight” for cinematography. These are the films since 1980 (When The New York Film Critics Circle started handing out the cinematography award) that have won all three from each group.

“The Killing Fields” – Won Oscar
“The Wings Of Desire” – Not Nominated
“Barton Fink” – Not Nominated
“Schindler’s List” – Won Oscar
“Ed Wood” – Not Nominated
“Far From Heaven” – Lost Oscar
“The Tree Of Life” – Lost Oscar

The history is sketchy here at best with only “Schindler’s List” and “The Killing Fields” ever sweeping the critics awards and winning the Oscar. Most of the other films were not nominated and the last two films to accomplish this, lost. So I’m ruling “Moonlight” out (More on that in a moment though). Now it all comes down to “Lion,” which won the ASC and “La La Land,” which has won the Critics Choice Award and the BAFTA. Let’s turn to the Critics Choice, the ASC and the BAFTA awards for answers.

CRITICS CHOICE
2009: Avatar
2010: Inception
2011: The Tree Of Life & War Horse
2012: Life Of Pi
2013: Gravity
2014: Birdman
2015: The Revenant
2016: La La Land
ASC
1986: Peggy Sue Got Married
1987: Empire of The Sun
1988: Tequila Sunrise
1989: Blaze
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: Bugsy
1992: Hoffa
1993: Searching For Bobby Fischer
1994: The Shawshank Redemption
1995: Braveheart
1996: The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: The Thin Red Line
1999: American Beauty
2000: The Patriot
2001: The Man Who Wasn’t There
2002: Road To Perdition
2003: Seabiscuit
2004: A Very Long Engagement
2005: Memoirs Of A Geisha
2006: Children Of Men
2007: There Will Be Blood
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: The White Ribbon
2010: Inception
2011: The Tree Of Life
2012: Skyfall
2013: Gravity
2014: Birdman
2015: The Revenant
2016: Lion
BAFTA
1986: Out Of Africa
1987: Jean de Florette
1988: Empire Of The Sun
1989: Mississippi Burning
1990: The Sheltering Sky
1991: Cyrano de Bergerac
1992: The Last Of The Mohicans
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Interview With A Vampire
1995: Braveheart
1996: The English Patient
1997: The Wings Of The Dove
1998: Elizabeth
1999: American Beauty
2000: Gladiator
2001: The Man Who Wasn’t There
2002: Road To Perdition
2003: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King
2004: Collateral
2005: Memoirs Of A Geisha
2006: Children Of Men
2007: No Country For Old Men
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: The Hurt Locker
2010: Inception
2011: The Artist
2012: Life Of Pi
2013: Gravity
2014: Birdman
2015: The Revenant
​2016: La La Land
OSCAR
1986: The Mission
1987: The Last Emperor
1988: Mississippi Burning
1989: Glory
1990: Dances With Wolves
1991: JFK
1992: A River Runs Through It
1993: Schindler’s List
1994: Legends Of The Fall
1995: Braveheart
1996: The English Patient
1997: Titanic
1998: Saving Private Ryan
1999: American Beauty
2000: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2001: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring
2002: Road To Perdition
2003: Master & Commander: The Far Side of The World
2004: The Aviator
2005: Memoirs Of A Geisha
2006: Pan’s Labyrinth
2007: There Will Be Blood
2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: Avatar
2010: Inception
2011: Hugo
2012: Life Of Pi
2013: Gravity
2014: Birdman
2015: The Revenant
2016: ?

Since the Critics Choice have been giving out this award, they have matched Oscar 6 times in the last 7 years. That is as good as a stat as it should get. But they still have not been around as long. Looking at the BAFTA and ASC wins before 2009, when they go to two different films, 3 times the Oscar went to the ASC winner, 4 times to the BAFTA winner and a whopping 13 times to something else entirely. Could “Moonlight” be that other film? Maybe there is another shocker that we don’t see coming at all, similar to what “Hugo” did in 2011 where it did not win a single award all season for its cinematography but managed to pull out a win. BAFTA overall has matched this category with Oscar 14 times in the last 30 years, while the ASC has matched 13 times. I think it’s pretty clear that “La La Land” will win this award, but if there is to be an upset I expect it will not be the ASC winner, but instead the film which picked up the NYFCC, NSFC, LAFCA award for cinematography and has equal odds of winning this category as the ASC winner does and that is “Moonlight.”

PREDICTED WINNER: “La La Land
​RUNNER UP: “Moonlight

What are your predictions for these two Oscar categories? Be sure to let me know in the comments down below. You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture

Matt Neglia
Matt Negliahttps://nextbestpicture.com/
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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