Here’s why ‘Arrival,’ and not ‘La La Land,’ is statistically the favorite to win Best Film Editing at Oscars

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but nobody who follows the consensus in all 24 of our racetrack odds at Gold Derby will be crowned the Oscar predictions champion on February 26. To win, you have to choose a few upsets and show everyone you’re smarter than the experts. The key is to choose your upsets wisely, and one category that’s ripe for a shocking result this Sunday is Best Film Editing. Currently “La La Land” holds a commanding lead with 2/13 odds of winning the editing prize according to the experts, but the statistics do not support this. So which film could pull an upset and put you a step ahead of the competition? The first film you should consider is “Arrival.”

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The sci-fi drama’s most important win for editing thus far came from the American Cinema Editors (ACE) themselves. The ACE Eddie Awards are industry-voted editing awards that have been distributed for the past 10 years. Seven of those years (70%), the winner for Best Edited Dramatic Feature Film has gone on to win the Oscar. In this instance, that is “Arrival.”

Each of the other three times (30%), one of the other nominees for the ACE Eddie Drama went on to win the Academy Award, which gives a smaller edge to “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water” and “Moonlight.” Yet despite the ACE Eddie victory, “Arrival” sits in third position on our Gold Derby prediction center with current odds of 18/1 and has the support of only one expert, Tariq Khan (Fox News). Oscar favorite “La La Land” won the ACE Eddie for Best Edited Comedy or Musical, an award that has never coincided with the Oscar winner.

Despite PGA/DGA/BAFTA victories, ‘La La Land’ can still ‘Crash’ at Oscars — just ask ‘Brokeback Mountain’

The second film that could pull off an upset here is “Hacksaw Ridge.” After winning in the editing category at BAFTA, some Derbyites followed suit, moving this into second place in our prediction center with 14/1 odds. But before moving so fast, you may want to consider the fact that over the last 16 years only seven BAFTA winners (43%) have claimed the Oscar. In fact, eight films (50%) that won the Oscar were nominated but lost at BAFTA, giving seemingly better odds to BAFTA losers “Arrival” and “La La Land.” Only one film, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” in 2011, has been snubbed by BAFTA and still prevailed at the Academy Awards. This is bad news for both “Hell or High Water” and “Moonlight” who were snubbed by the Brits.

Besides the ACE victory for comedy, the only other major editing win for “La La Land” came at the Critics’ Choice Awards, who have only been handing out editing awards for seven years. In those seven years, three winners (43%) held on to win the Oscar. But four of the past seven Oscar champs (57%) actually lost at Critics’ Choice.

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So which film has the best chance, statistically, to win on February 26? Here is how I would rank them:

1. “Arrival” – Winner of ACE Eddie Dramatic Film, Nominated for Critics’ Choice, Nominated for BAFTA

2. “Hacksaw Ridge” – Nominated for ACE Eddie Dramatic Film, Nominated for Critics’ Choice, Winner of BAFTA

3. “La La Land” – Winner of ACE Eddie Comedy or Musical, Winner of Critics’ Choice, Nominated for BAFTA

4. “Moonlight” – Nominated for ACE Eddie Dramatic Film, Nominated for Critics’ Choice

5. “Hell or High Water” – Nominated for ACE Eddie Dramatic Film

Predict the Oscar winners now; change them till February 26

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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