2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Film Editing [UPDATED: November 10]

When it comes to predicting the Oscar winner for Best Film Editing, you can’t go wrong by looking for the movie with the most cuts. Past winners “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2008), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2016) and “Ford v Ferrari” (2020) included high-octane action sequences with frenetic cutting. And a slew of other champs — including “Saving Private Ryan” in 1999, “Black Hawk Down” (2002), “The Hurt Locker” (2010), “Hacksaw Ridge” (2017) and “Dunkirk” (2018) — have been war pictures. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2021 Oscar predictions for Best Film Editing.)

Oscar voters also embrace film editors who skillfully juggle multiple storylines, as was the case with “Traffic” (2001) and “Crash” (2006). And they like films that expertly inter-cut music with images, such as “Cabaret” (1973), “Chicago” (2003), “Whiplash” (2015) and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2019). Special effects extravaganzas like “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2004) and “Gravity” (2014) won by deftly blurring the lines between the real and the fantastic.

Historically, a nomination for film editing was an essential one for the ultimate winner of the big prize. Indeed, 34 films won both awards. Yet the last time the two went hand-in-hand was “Argo” in 2012. The reintroduction of the preferential ballot for Best Picture has changed the dynamic. “Gravity” swept the below-the-line awards but lost the top race to “12 Years a Slave.”

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UPDATED: November 10, 2020

Leading Contenders

Alan Baumgarten, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Kirk Baxter, “Mank” (Netflix)

William Goldenberg, “News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

Adam Gough, “Da 5 Bloods” (Netflix)

Stephen Mirrione, “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix)

Tim Streeto, “The White Tiger” (Netflix)

Yorgos Lamprinos, “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

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Strong Contenders

Tariq Anwar, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)

Andy Canny, “The Invisible Man” (Universal Pictures)

Jay Cassidy, Evan Schiff, “Birds of Prey” (Warner Bros.)

Mark Czyzewski, Sidney Wolinsky, “Greyhound” (Apple TV+)

Matt Friedman, Andrew Dickler, “Palm Springs” (Neon)

Jennifer Lame, “Tenet” (Warner Bros.)

Andrew Mondshein, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

Richard Pearson, “Wonder Woman 1984” (Warner Bros.)

James Wilcox, “Hillbilly Elegy” (Netflix)

Harry Yoon, “Minari” (A24)

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Possible Contenders

Jay Cassidy, “The King of Staten Island” (Universal Pictures)

David Coulson, “Mulan” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Mark Everson, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” (20th Century)

Sarah Flack, “On the Rocks” (Apple TV+)

Robert Frazen, “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” (Netflix)

Mikkel E.G. Nielsen, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios

Hilda Rasula, “French Exit” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Kristan Sprague, “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros.)

Peggy Tachdjian, Danielle Wang, “The Prom” (Netflix)

Frederic Thoraval, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Chris Wyatt, “Ammonite” (Neon)

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