Best Film Editing:
Best Film Editing is a category that has eluded many people’s predictions for years, but the one thing that has remained the same is the impact of good editing. The best and smoothest editing will appear invisible to audiences, as shots will cut from one into the next without a hint of jarringness. Yorgos Lamprinos‘ editing in Florian Zeller‘s The Father is astounding, seamlessly cutting the story of an elderly man with dementia with careful precision. While the editing throughout the film seems slow and careful, there are moments in which it picks up that really solidify the movie as a great nominee. These moments work so well to tell the often frantic story when the elderly man is confused and disoriented and the editing is to thank for that. Aaron Sorkin‘s The Trial of the Chicago 7 is another film whose editing succeeds and editor Alan Baumgarten does a masterful job of telling this courtroom story. Cutting between the courtroom scenes and what happened at the time of these historical events is a smart approach to telling the story, and Baumgarten’s editing is able to really bring out the emotion seen in the causes that the characters are fighting for.
Mikkel E.G. Nielsen‘s editing in Darius Marder‘s Sound of Metal really shines as he is able to cut this story of a drummer losing his hearing incredibly well. While the sound design is what propels this story forward the most, Nielsen’s editing is a solid underdog element as he goes from scene to scene with ease, cutting between the lead character’s central plot to how his world is changing around him. Emerald Fennell‘s Promising Young Woman beautifully excels in how it is cut as well, as Frédéric Thoraval‘s editing guides this film from chapter to chapter. The chapter format in how this film’s plot unravels is an interesting and creative way to tell this revenge story, allowing differences in tone to be captured from scene to scene. Thoraval cuts the most exciting parts with ease while also knowing when to let the often hard-to-swallow scenes breathe. Nomadland is the final nominee for Best Film Editing and Chloé Zhao‘s creative control of this film is what truly makes it shine. She not only wrote, directed, and produced this film, but edited it as well. While the bond between director and editor is typically very tight from project to project, Zhao’s handling of the editing in Nomadland is something that only her gorgeous, creative mind could tackle. The way that she slowly but meticulously cuts this film is truly a sight to behold, as she is unafraid to draw out some of the story’s deepest-rooted and most humanistic emotions for her audience.
Prediction: Sound of Metal
Best Visual Effects:
Up for Best Visual Effects this year is two Disney films – Mulan and The One and Only Ivan – as well as two science fiction films – Nolan‘s Tenet and Clooney’s The Midnight Sky – and the monster adventure film Love and Monsters. The least known of these titles, Love and Monsters, will be a long shot to win; however, this nomination no doubt is an important milestone for up-and-coming director Michael Matthews. The last two times a Nolan film was nominated for Best Visual Effects, the Visual Effects team won; however, odds presently place The Midnight Sky as second most likely to take home the award. A bit more of a long shot are the two Disney films, though members on both Visual Effects teams have been previously nominated for their work.