Had to make some heartbreaking decisions to whittle this category down to five. Lots of terrific Editing work this year, and in different ways too. Here are the five I ultimately settled on (although I could just as easily substitute any of my "just missed" picks at any time):
All Is Lost (Pete Beaudreau)
In the absence of a conventional narrative structure, it's up to Beaudreau to find rhythm and pace in Chandor's amorphous screenplay. He nicely taps
into the observational minutia of Our Man's high sea endeavors, from the mundane to
the life-threatening, taking care not to waste or overdraw a single
Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)
Rouse (and Greengrass) build this procedural with
an effective fly-on-the-wall sensibility that puts you right there in
the action. The tension they construct is omnipresent and
essential, especially throughout the sudden starts and stops in the
action during the lengthy second half of the film.
Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée, Martin Pensa)
One of the most unsung strengths of Dallas
Buyers Club is how lean and efficient the storytelling is. The whole thing is assembled with crisp
editing that makes excellent use of montage and helps define a voice
for director Jean-Marc Vallée's
otherwise invisible (but invaluable) direction.
Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger)
As well deserved as the praise is for Lubezki's lengthy tracking shots, it's sometimes easy to forget that nearly all of them had to pieced together in post-production before the extensive effects could be layered on. This was a mammoth undertaking handled with such seamless skill that you never even notice it.
The Wolf of Wall Street (Thelma Schoonmaker)
Scorsese and Schoonmaker's work
in the editing room
manages to keep the energy up, the pace fluid, and our attention rapt
for much of that unwieldy three hours. Each scene is painstakingly
constructed and milked for every possible comedic beat, cut with a
degree of precision that only the practiced hands of a true master
like Schoonmaker could achieve.
12 Years a Slave (Joe Walker)
Before Midnight (Sandra Adair)
Her (Jeff Buchanan, Eric Zumbrunnen)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
Prisoners (Joel Cox, Gary Roach)