When Up in the Air, praised even by some of its naysayers for its meticulous construction (albeit of the recycled air sort), couldn’t swing a nomination in this category, the race for Best Picture suddenly became a little easier to diagnose. Funny, though, that Precious, pegged early on as a frontrunner for the top prize, was able to manage one, even though its purple-ish editing seemed to be one of the few things fans and detractors alike could find common ground on—and yet the film is hardly being discussed as a spoiler in a race that has become all about Avatar, The Hurt Locker, and Inglourious Basterds. Just putting that out there, folks.
Too many people say Best Picture is a done deal once this award is announced; though true that a film is a longshot for the top prize without a nomination in this category, a win here predicts a Best Picture triumph about 60% of the time. That’s good, but we’re more interested in the cannier relationship between the winner of the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie award and the recipient here: Only once in the last 10 years has an Eddie beneficiary not gone on to win the Oscar (Ridley Scott’s embarrassing best in show Gladiator). That, of course, bodes well for Chris Innis and Bob Murawski. Though The Hurt Locker does not represent the “most edited” film in the category, or the one with the most characters, it is a movie about the trials and tribulations of war—one of Oscars favorite subjects—edited with the balletic heart-pounding finesse of a John Carpenter freak show. It just feels like a winner.
Will Win: The Hurt Locker
Should Win: The Hurt Locker