So I was hoping to go through all of the categories before the Oscars on March 12th, but unfortunately life is going to get in the way. I will be […]
So I was hoping to go through all of the categories before the Oscars on March 12th, but unfortunately life is going to get in the way. I will be posting periodically after the Oscars on my thoughts about what movies I think should win, but only for the categories where I have seen every film that is able to be viewed. Many of these blogs may come after this Sunday, but c’est la vie. I still want to get my thoughts out there.
So now, onto my thoughts on the Film Editing category.
“The Banshees Of Inisherin” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
Mikkel E.G. Nielsen won the Oscar two years ago for his work on The Sound Of Metal (2019), which was an absolutely tour de force of a movie. That movie was about a man learning to explore himself in a world of silence he never thought he would find himself in. The Banshees Of Inisherin (2022) is a bit of the opposite; it is about a man in Pádraic Súilleabháin who doesn’t want to go anywhere and has to learn with everyone leaving his world. He has the choice to stay or go, and he chooses to stubbornly stay (Metaphorically and literally), and that is tragic enough in itself.
The story behind Nielsen getting this directing job is a bit sad. He got the opportunity to work with Martin McDonagh because McDonagh’s former longterm editor Jon Gregory passed away in 2021. He talks about in an article with The Wrap how it was interesting for him to work with a blend of comedy and drama for the first time. He had to find that blend that work for the message that McDonagh was trying to say.
For myself as a viewer, I struggled to connect with the dramatic parts of the movie. The comedy bits worked really well, but for myself that comes from McDonagh’s script and the performances in the movie. The Banshees Of Inisherin is a very good film, but it wasn’t the editing that stoop out to me.
“Elvis” Matt Villa & Jonathan Redmond
There is definitely an editing style in Elvis (2022). It just not my type of editing. The opening 30 minutes of Elvis is like being stuck on the audobon with cars zooming past you left and right. The clips are a blur and the camera never sits still. It like being put in in a washing machine and all of the colors are bleeding together.
Baz Luhrman’s style in film making gets Jonathan Redmond and Matt Villa each of their first Oscar nominations. This is Redmond’s fifth project with Baz and Villa’s fourth, so they have an understanding as to what Baz wants.
Motion Pictures has a an interesting article with the pair of men as the talk about what it was like to go through the different iterations of the movie. There were different options on how to start it. Different ways of peppering in Elvis’s original voice. The biggest thing is the split-screen stuff. It plays off like a comic book. It is a Baz Luhrman graphic novel about one of America’s most influential men of all time, and it is just a matter of whether or not you vibe with it or not.
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” Paul Rogers
Those who have talked to me know that I was not the biggest fan of Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022). I felt like it was trying to do too much, and again (like The Banshees Of Inisherin), I didn’t connect with the dramatic parts of the movie like most people did. I didn’t fall in love with Michelle Yeoh’s performance and all of the swings it took made me dizzy.
With all that being said, Paul Rogers did masterful work editing EEAAO. For a movie that has 1000 ideas and goes 1000 different directions, Rogers does create a cohesive story that does make sense. You get what the end goal is, even if the idea of an everything bagel being at its center is a little bit too out there for you.
This is the first movie that Rogers has been nominated for his editing, and of the roughly 40 associations, awards, committees, that he has been thrown in the ring for, he has won…32 of them. For those counting at home that is an 80% clearance rate.
While EEAAO was not one of my top films of the year, I 100% understand the craftsmanship that went into making this coherent and watchable. You are traversing through different worlds, multiverses, dimensions and atmospheres. It is Paul Rogers editing that keeps the movie off balance, and while for myself it isn’t my cup of tee, it is a finished product that deserves to be admired.
“Tár” Monika Willi
Monika Will and Todd Field worked hand-in-hand when forming the vision for Tár(2022). The two of them worked together in a 15th century former nunnery and lived only with one-another for weeks at a time. As Field says in an IndieWire article, “it was a very hermetic process”.
I do considerTár to be the best made movie of the year. I don’t think it has a shot at winning the majority of its categories, but the way this sad epic sings will have your ears ringing with afterthoughts. That is were the film editing of Tár really takes over. This is not a movie that spells out what you are meant to interpret. There are different ways to look at the character Lydia Tár. The way that film is edited allows for the multiple interpretations. The story is constructed in a way, due in large part of a superb screenplay, to where you can open multiple doors.
There is a skill in perfecting the one mission you have and then there is a skill in leaving all the doors open. Elvis has its point and it is driven home with a jackhammer. Tár‘s path is more ambigious, and Willi’s editing style keeps the viewers path clouded all the way until the final destination, so much so you don’t even know where you are going to land.
“Top Gun: Maverick” Eddie Hamilton
Going to go full movie nerd here for a second and share this video that I found.
Does every editor do this? This is so fucking cool. This is Eddie Hamilton’s first Oscar nomination, He has worked with Tom Cruise a lot, having worked on Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (2015), and Mission: ImpossibleFallout (2018). Top Gun: Maverick (2022) is a whole other can of worms, but perhaps he got a bit of experience dealing with absurd effects and stunts seeing Cruise risk his life before.
It has been a decade since a Best Picture winner has won Best Editing, so maybe that makes Top Gun: Maverick a better choice to win. He had to cut through 813 hours of arial footage. That is nearly 34 days worth of footage. Thirty. Four. Days.
What I remember about Top Gun: Maverick’s editing is the audio transitions. It is the fast cutting motions of the plane but with the continuity of sound. That has to be so hard to do. So fucking hard.
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” – Paul Rogers
“Top Gun: Maverick” – Eddie Hamilton
“Tár” – Monika Willi
“The Banshees Of Inisherin” – Mikkell E.G. Nielsen
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