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Oscar predictions: Who will win editing and screenplay categories

February 24, 2012 | 11:08 am

Beau Bridges and George Clooney in The Descendants
The Envelope's Gold Standard columnist Glenn Whipp is sweeping through all 24 Oscar categories this week, predicting the winners. Check previous posts for tips on marking your Oscar pool ballots for the music categories, short films, sound races, animation, documentary and foreign films and the visual crafts races.

Here, a look at the two screenplay categories and film editing.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The nominees:

“The Descendants,” Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
“Hugo,” John Logan
“The Ides of March,” George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
“Moneyball,” Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, story by Stan Chervin
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

And the winner is … Since Payne seems unlikely to win either picture or director, look for the academy rewarding him here for the wide spectrum of emotions and tones he so beautifully balanced in “The Descendants.”

Unless … Enough voters read Michael Lewis’ bestseller and remember how surprised they were when they found out somebody was going to try to make a movie out of “Moneyball.” Zaillian and Sorkin brought their usual sharp sense of craft to the project; more important, they realized Lewis’ book was less about stats than a flawed hero’s journey toward meaning and principle.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The nominees:

“The Artist,” Michel Hazanavicius
“Bridesmaids,” Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
“Margin Call,” J.C. Chandor
“Midnight in Paris,” Woody Allen
“A Separation,” Asghar FarhadI

And the winner is … Woody. Twenty-three Oscar nominations, a.k.a. nearly halfway to John Williams Country. Allen hasn’t won since 1987 for “Hannah and Her Sisters,” but should easily prevail here for his biggest commercial hit and a movie academy members genuinely adore.

Unless … “The Artist” steamrolls the competition across the board, giving Hazanavicius wins here and for directing.

FILM EDITING

The nominees:

“The Artist,” Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
“The Descendants,” Kevin Tent
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“Hugo,” Thelma Schoonmaker
“Moneyball,” Christopher Tellefsen

And the winner is … “The Artist.” Because this award often goes to the movie that is the eventual best picture winner, its mid-ceremony presentation has been known to produce a brief feeling of possibility inside the theater. Take last year, when “The Social Network” took this Oscar. For a brief, shining moment (well … up until Tom Hooper won director over David Fincher), there existed a feeling that maybe all the Oscar pundits were wrong and that maybe, just maybe “The Social Network” would win best picture.

Admittedly, this is a roundabout way of warning you not to look for such a moment this year. The American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Awards, given in comedy and drama, almost always predict this category, and as much as we loved Tent’s subtle storytelling for “The Descendants,” this Oscar goes to the silent rhythms of “The Artist.”

Unless … ACE isn’t the place this year and academy favorite Schoonmaker wins her fourth Oscar.

RELATED:

Cheat Sheet | Key Scenes | Pundit's picks | Ballot

'The Descendants' wins USC Scripter Award for writing

Oscars 2012: 'Hugo' editor Thelma Schoonmaker on kids, dogs and 3-D

-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: Beau Bridges and George Clooney in Alexander Payne's "The Descendants." Credit: Merie Wallace/Fox Searchlight


 
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