Best Editing has been won by Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter for the last two years: for “The Social Network” in 2010 and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” in 2011.
The category is known for its close correlation with Best Picture. Since 1981, every Best Picture winner has been nominated in this race, and out of those 31 races, 15 Best Picture winners also won the editing prize.
The category often favors frenetic, action-driven films (“The Bourne Ultimatum,” “Black Hawk Down,” “The Matrix,”), large-scale epics (“The Aviator,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Titanic”), and films with multiple storylines (“Crash,” “Traffic”).
Among this year’s contenders is “Zero Dark Thirty” (Oscar nominees William Goldenberg and Dylan Tichenor), from director Kathryn Bigelow, whose previous film (“The Hurt Locker”) won this award in 2009.
Also in contention are the musical “Les Miserables” (Oscar-winner Chris Dickens), fantasy films “Life of Pi” (nominee Tim Squyres) and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Jabez Olssen), “Argo” (also William Goldenberg), “The Master” (Peter McNulty), the disaster drama “The Impossible” (Elena Ruiz and Bernat Vilaplana), and the epic biopic “Lincoln” (three-time Oscar winner Michael Kahn).