In today’s look at the upcoming Academy Awards, we focus on three of the more prestigious technical categories: Best Production Design, Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography. The Best Film Editing category has historically provided a good indication of what will fare well in the Best Picture category.
Best Production Design
Will win: The Favourite
Should win: The Favourite
Also nominated: Black Panther, First Man, Mary Poppins Returns, Roma
The world that Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton have created in The Favourite is deeply unpleasant (in the best possible way). It is dark, claustrophobic and disconcertingly eerie. Every corner holds secrets and all the walls have ears. It is the perfect realisation of Yorgos Lanthimos’ vision and would be a deserving winner in this category. The sprawling Wakandan paradise of Black Panther is its closest rival.
Best Film Editing
Will win: Vice
Should win: Vice
Also nominated: BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book
A few years ago, Hank Corwin was robbed of his Academy Award when his editing for The Big Short was overlooked in favour of Mad Max: Fury Road. Three years later, he is back and nominated again for his work on another Adam McKay film. With Vice, much like The Big Short before it, the editing is fast, snappy and an integral part of the storytelling process. It moves the film along at a whirlwind pace and makes complicated themes and ideas easily digestible. This is no easy thing to do, and his Oscar will be fully deserved and long overdue.
Will win: Roma
Should win: Roma
Also nominated: Cold War, The Favourite, Never Look Away, A Star is Born
Alfonso Cuarón’s direction in Roma is noticeably understated. When the camera moves, it is with a calm and considered slowness, and shots can linger for minutes. The advantage of this, as Cuarón well knows, is that it gives the viewer ample opportunity to marvel in the beautiful black and white cinematography of the film. It is gorgeously shot, to the extent that each frame could well be a photograph. Cold War, which also happens to be shot in black and white, is probably the next-best film in this category, but it is in a quite distant second.