Oscars 2023: ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ will try to break this recent trend in Best Editing

Best Editing has always been one of those crucial categories for the Oscar race due to how its nominees almost always happen to include whatever ends up taking home Best Picture. In fact, “CODA” and “Birdman” are the only films since 1981 to win the top prize without a Best Editing nomination. The correlation for winning isn’t so strong; no film has won both picture and editing since 2012’s “Argo”. However, there is indeed a correlation between the editing winner and another category: Best Sound.

This year, there are two Best Editing contenders that seem to stand far above the rest in our Gold Derby odds: “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and “Top Gun: Maverick.” Though “Top Gun” is currently on top, many suspect “Everything Everywhere” to be the spoiler. It makes sense; a common way of predicting this category is to think about which film has the “most editing.” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” are all previous Best Editing winners that for different reasons utilize quick cuts to highlight emblematic sequences for their respective films – be it for music montages or battle scenes. In the case of “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” the copious editing serves to jump the viewer and characters between the different dimensions of the multiverse. To those who use that fair reasoning to predict the current Best Picture frontrunner to win Best Editing, be warned: the film was snubbed for Best Sound.

Since 2013, the year “Gravity” swept the tech categories by winning both sound categories as well as editing, every editing winner has also managed to take home at least one Oscar for its sound. “Whiplash,” being about jazz music, was expected to win an Academy Award for its sound mixing, but its win in editing was a shock to most prognosticators, many of whom predicted “Boyhood” for its feat of editing together 12 years of material. What “Boyhood” didn’t have was a sound nomination, much less a win. 

“Parasite” was considered one of the frontrunners for editing in 2020, up against the racing flick “Ford v Ferrari.” Though we now know “Parasite” was beloved by the academy, managing to win in categories that people weren’t expecting it to (including Best Picture), it lost editing to its rival that took home the Oscar for Best Sound Editing. “Parasite” was not nominated for any sound category that year. 

There’s a caveat to this correlation, which is that the Oscars merged Sound Mixing and Editing two years ago, to just Best Sound. This means that a film is half as likely now to take home an Oscar for its sound, as there’s just one category to compete in instead of two. Since this merge, “Sound of Metal” pulled off a big upset in editing, while “Dune” expectedly won both sound and editing. The trend is bound to be broken soon thanks to there now being just one sound winner, but the fact remains that voters tend to associate movies with Oscar-worthy editing with those that have an outstanding sound design. When the trend breaks remains to be seen, but “Everything Everywhere” missing out on a sound nomination entirely is surely causing pause for those predicting a win in its sister category.

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