I held off on posting my Film Editing predictions until the American Cinema Editors (ACE) revealed their ACE Eddie nominations and I’m glad I did because they threw us a curve.
The Father, whose editing has been a highlight in reviews in how it deftly puts the audience in the mind of Anthony Hopkins as he succumbs to dementia, shockingly missed there in the dramatic category. Nominated there was Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Critics Choice winner Sound of Metal has seen a real surge lately, as has Minari. That could explain their slightly surprising inclusions over The Father, or it could be Sony Pictures Classics’ failure to get the film in front of guild members (it missed at ADG too, another integral part of the film).
Missing ACE is far from a death knell for an Oscar nomination but it comes with a caveat. Whether it’s timing or the guild leaning towards a favorite or fellow guild member, many films have overcome missing there: Spotlight, Dallas Buyers Club, 127 Hours, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Blood Diamond, Children of Men, Cinderella Man, City of God, The Pianist, Wonder Boys and Cider Hours Rules. That list ranges from a Best Picture winner, films with acting winners, multiple directing nominees and outliers stumbled overall with nominations but hit here (like Wonder Years). But, since the Best Picture expansion it’s only happened five times (Spotlight, Dallas Buyers Club, 127 Hours, Inglourious Basterds, Precious), most recently five years ago and all were Best Picture nominees. All but 127 Hours were likely top 5 BP contenders in their respective years. What that boils down to is with The Father missing ACE, signs would point to it needing to be a top 5 Best Picture player in order to climb back into a safe nomination.
When you add BAFTA to the mix, and the editing category was not one of the jury-based committees, you start to see a clearer picture. Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7 all made the cut at both. Mank missed BAFTA, continuing its sloppy run towards Oscar. But, don’t look to BAFTA for a 5/5 answer. The Oscar film editing branch hasn’t gone 5/5 with BAFTA in over a decade and is full of surprising misses. Inception missed after getting ACE and BAFTA in one of the biggest snubs in that category. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood missed last year with PGA/ACE/BAFTA (to Best Picture winner Parasite). Roma as well (to Best Picture winner Green Book) With Promising Young Woman being such a strong guild performer, I think we could see an I, Tonya-type nomination here or, on the other side, a Nightcrawler-style snub.
So, will it be the ACE five, BAFTA five, or somewhere in the middle? Will Nomadland suffer the same fate as Roma and snub the director for editing their own film? I’ll say this, if Minari makes the cut then we have a three-way race for Best Picture.
Here are my final 2021 Oscar predictions in Film Editing.
- 1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix) – ACE (drama), BAFTA, BFCA
- 2. Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios) – ACE (drama), BAFTA, BFCA
Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
- 3. Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures) – ACE (drama), BAFTA, BFCA
- 4. Promising Young Woman (Focus Features) – ACE (comedy), BAFTA
- 5. Minari (A24) – ACE (drama)
Watch out for: Mank (Netflix) – ACE, BFCA
Photo courtesy of Focus Features