February 21, 2023

2023 Academy Awards Nomination Breakdown: Best Editing

The Academy Awards are airing live on March 12, and for the first time, I have set out to break down every nominee in every category in order to assess, as accurately as I can, who and what has the best chance of winning. Today I will be discussing the nominees for Best Editing!

The Banshees of Inisherin

The calm, tranquil cutting of Banshees is a neat contrast to the film’s dark subject matter, and especially interesting once McDonagh realized that quiet establishing shots of the Irish countryside with beautiful score over it could be beneficial to the story instead of detracting. I will say that the editing of Banshees never stood out to me both times I’ve seen it, so it is a surprise nomination…but a welcome one.

Read my review of The Banshees of Inisherin here.


Frantic editing is a staple of Baz Luhrmann’s films, and probably my least favorite mainstay of his. Elvis is done no less frantically, with more cuts-per-minute than I could keep up with. Still, it’s unique, and some might consider it great, so its presence in the category is not entirely surprising.

Read my review of Elvis here.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All At Once was edited by one person over the course of the COVID-19 lockdown on a years-old iMac on Adobe Premiere Pro…and if that’s not impressive, especially considering how technically excellent this movie is, I don’t know what qualifies. Variety has pointed out that not since The Departed in 2007 has a movie won editing without a nomination for sound. That seems to count out Banshees, Everything Everywhere and TÁR, and while it shouldn’t be taken as a sure fact, it is a little dispiriting that my favorite movie of last year (which knocks it out of the park in every regard, as far as I’m concerned) isn’t present in both categories.


Just like Banshees, the editing of TÁR did not stand out to me in a memorable way. I would say it’s much more effective in how it balances its sound and subtle score with its editing, which fits in well enough with the category.

Read my review of TÁR here.

Top Gun: Maverick

Only a fantastic editor (or team of editors) could craft something remarkable out of over 800 hours of footage, most of which was almost certainly shot inside and outside of fighter jets. I don’t doubt the four years between editing and release didn’t hurt, but it’s still an undeniable feat that we will not see replicated anytime soon.

What Will Win: Top Gun: Maverick
What Should Win: Everything Everywhere All At Once
What Should Have Been Nominated: NopeBabylon
My Unrealistic Dream Nominations: BarbarianThree Thousand Years of Longing, Pearl

1 comment:

  1. In this category, films with a frenetic and vertiginous pace usually prevail, statistics do not lie: Dune, Ford VS Ferrari, Bohemian Rhapsody, Dunkirk, Hacksaw Ridge, among others, are a clear example of this. In this order of ideas, three films seem to be ahead in the film editing race.

    The first of them is Joseph Kosinski's adrenaline-filled production, whose original footage totaled a whopping 70.28 million frames, translated into no more and no less than 813 hours and 51 minutes of raw principal photography, a real headache for editor Eddie Hamilton, who had to condense the material into a mere 2 hours and 11 minutes, without losing the rhythmic coherence and continuity of this spectacular production. This adrenaline-filled visual feast perfectly strikes a balance between nostalgia and tantalizing contemporary devotees of the original, while appealing to new generations of Top Gun fans. On their own, the gravity-defying aerial sequences like the climactic final sequence when the Daggers fly into enemy territory on a dangerous raid, justify the Oscar for Hamilton. Now, if there was one film that revived the post-Covid American box office, widely acclaimed by critics, it is this one. If AMPAS voters truly understand that reviving interest in these awards means connecting with viewers' tastes and interests without sacrificing quality, they have a golden opportunity here, including in the top category.

    The Daniels' surreal sci-fi comedy-drama is a potent counterweight in the category. While actors Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan have attracted much of the awards season hype, Paul Rogers, the film's editor, played a crucial behind-the-scenes role, cutting the film and directing its disorienting transitions between parallel universes. After finishing filming in early March 2020, he spent the subsequent lockdown working from home, shooting all the frames of the final cut on a 2017 model iMac using Adobe Premiere Pro in his living room. The flexibility of the video editing software was particularly useful for building test versions of a scene, adding rough visual effects, or doing tricks like speeding up the movement of a background character while keeping the main figure at a normal speed. As well as modifying fight scenes or remixing fragments of multiple shots into a single scene so that the final images look like they came from a much bigger budget movie and a much longer shooting time. EEAAO arrives backed to the big night of the Oscars by the production and distribution company A24, which knows how to play and decipher award races very well, (Moonlight and Room, ahem). This time they are once again putting all their eggs in the basket with the precedent that the Daniels' production is the highest grossing in its history.

    The third in contention is Baz Luhrmann's biographical drama about the King of Rock and Roll. Films of this cut usually do very well at awards shows. Moreover, the cut in a Luhrmann film is always characterized by its extreme level of complexity and ambition, and "Elvis" is no different, as it deftly juggles three points of view: the perspective of Elvis himself, the perspective of Colonel Parker, and the perspective of the culture at large. This made editing the concert footage, which Luhrmann staged and filmed in its entirety, particularly challenging for editors Jonathan Redmond and Matt Villa.