Oscarthon: Best Editing

Here's a fun category- the next best indicator to director of how well put-together a picture is made. Up In The Air likely saw missing the cut as the final nail in the coffin, while Precious and District 9 must have been a little surprised to make it.

It can be a surefire indicator of how the night will end (like Crash winning it and little else), or sometimes it can go to a popular movie with impressive work like The Bourne Ultimatum. This year? Probably the former, but we'll see.

1. Avatar- Stephen E. Rivkin (0 for 0), John Refoua (0 for 0), James Cameron (3 for 3)

The word is that Cameron and co. had to basically edit during shooting, watching "mintutelies" instead of dailies and structuring the film on the fly. That's great for them, but the finished product is what counts, and said product cut a very sleepy pace indeed.

2. District 9- Julian Clarke (0 for 0)

Fun fact: Julian Clarke's previous most recognizable credit is Uwe Boll's Postal. The counterpoint to Avatar, District 9 uses a faux-documentary style to get any backstory right out of the way, and thrills non-stop to the end.

3. The Hurt Locker- Bob Murawski (0 for 0), Chris Innis (0 for 0)

The likely winners and the ones that deserve it, to my mind. An epic 2:10 run-time combines a half-dozen odd bombs scares with about as many various character scenes without ever losing steam, and individual standout sequences abound.

4. Inglourious Basterds- Sally Menke (0 for 1)

Longtime Tarantino editor Menke is the only previous nominee (besides Cameron) in the race, for Pulp Fiction. Basterds is certainly a well tuned film, and it's got a knack for cutting the scene right after a punchline. I'd say this is just as much of a potential spoiler as Avatar, slim though the chance may be.

5. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire- Joe Klotz (0 for 0)

An unexpected nominee, but a fair one: witness the pastiche terror-flashback scenes in Precious that play like Lynch on fast-forward. It's fun work, but gimmicky.

The Hurt Locker all the way. And so end the tech awards. We've got two more BP previews and Animated Feature to discuss, then it's time for the money categories.

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