As we launch the Best Editing category in our Oscars predictions center, we must note that the category is known for its close correlation with Best Picture. Since 1981, every Best Picture winner has at least been nominated in this category — except one. Last year "Birdman" became the first film in more than three decades to buck that trend; it was snubbed for Best Editing, but won Best Picture anyway. Does that mean the link between the categories is broken, or do you think last year's outcome was a fluke?
Because editing is a non-visual art, it is not as easy to identify trends among winners. Action-heavy and suspense-driven films often prevail, including "Gravity," "Argo," "The Hurt Locker," "The Bourne Ultimatum," "Black Hawk Down," and "The Matrix."
Lavish epics also frequently win, like "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "The Aviator."
"Traffic" and "Crash" won in large part for juggling multiple characters and storylines, while "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Social Network" featured complex flashback structures.
Only two of the last 10 winners in this category has a project in contention in this race: Chris Dickens, who prevailed for "Slumdog" (2008) is now the editor of the Shakespearean adaptation "Macbeth." And "Argo" (2012) champ William Goldengerg is back with the football docudrama "Concussion."
But they're not the previous winners who could add to their collections. Legendary editor and longtime Steven Spielberg-collaborator Michael Kahn is back for the director's latest, "Bridge of Spies." Kahn holds the record of most all-time nominations (eight) and he's tied for the most wins (three) with Thelma Schoonmaker, Daniel Mandell and Ralph Dawson. With one more win he'll hold both records all by himself.
"The Martian" was edited by Pietro Scalia, who has two previous victories ("JFK" in 1991, "Black Hawk Down" in 2001), so he could tie the all-time record if he received a third trophy for his work on the Ridley Scott sci-fi blockbuster.
Meanwhile, Ron Howard's regular editors Daniel P. Hanley and Mike Hill are hoping to add a bookend to their "Apollo 13" Oscar with Howard's new film, "In the Heart of the Sea." The pair have also been nominated for Howard's "A Beautiful Mind," "Cinderella Man" and "Frost/Nixon."
Stephen Mirrione is also aiming for a second win. He prevailed in 2000 for "Traffic" and could make an impression this year with "The Revenant."
Taking a look at the rest of the prospective field, action-packed projects that could compete in this race include the war films "Beasts of No Nation" (Pete Beaudreau and Mikkel E.G. Nielsen) and "Son of Saul" (Matthieu Taponier) as well as acclaimed actioners "Mad Max: Fury Road" (Margaret Sixel and Jason Ballantine), "Sicario" (Joe Walker) and "Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation" (Eddie Hamilton).
Given the category's usually strong correlation with Best Picture, we also mustn't underestimate "Spotlight" (Tom McArdle), "Joy" (Jay Cassidy), "Steve Jobs" (Elliot Graham) or "Room" (Nathan Nugent), to name a few.
Who do you think will win? Make your Oscar predictions beginning with Best Editing at the bottom of this post and you could earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).
Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby's Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.
As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.
"Bridge of Spies" photo credit: Moviestore Collection/REX
"Spotlight" photo credit: Kerry Hayes/Open Road Films
"In the Heart of the Sea" photo credit: REX