There is a saying that so goes Best Editing, so goes Best Picture.  OK, well, maybe that's a stretch, but there is a belief by many that if a film has the backing of the Academy in editing, it will win Oscar's biggest prize at the end of the big show.  Over the last decade, however, that hasn't always been the case. 

Since 1999, Best Editing has only duplicated the Best Picture winner five out of ten times: "Crash," "Chicago," "Slumdog Millionaire," "The Departed" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." The films that bucked the trend? "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007), "The Aviator" (2004), "Black Hawk Down" (2001), "Traffic" (2000) and "The Matrix" (1999).  More intriguing, the American Cinema Editors ACE Award for Editing has only deviated from the eventual Academy Award winner once in that same time span when "Gladiator" surpassed "Black Hawk Down."  This year's eligible winner?  "The Hurt Locker."

The question is whether the Academy has been influenced by the already much discussed "Lockergate" or if a majority of member votes were submitted beforehand (or if the membership just doesn't care).  Moreover, if many members feel its "Avatar" all the way (which is being heard as a common refrain), could this year be the exception to the rule?  Therefore, whether "Hurt Locker" or "Avatar" wins Best Editing, it will still be sweaty palms for both camps until Best Picture is announced.

This is one Award that could go either way, but the ACE's track record is just too strong.  Our pick -- and a deserving one -- "The Hurt Locker."

BEST FILM EDITING

The nominees:

James Cameron, John Refoua, Stephen E. Rivkin, "Avatar"
Julian Clarke, "District 9"
Chris Innis, Bob Murawski, "The Hurt Locker"
Sally Menke, "Inglourious Basterds"
Joe Klotz, "Precious"


Who Will Win: Innis and Murawski for "Locker"
Who Should Win: Tough call, but Innis and Murawski for "locker"
Upset Contender: Obviously, if the "Avatar" crew wins it won't be a major upset.  However, "Basterds" definitely has a shot here.  If it wins, it will make the rest of the night that much more interesting.

Look for more stone cold lock Academy Award predictions as the 82nd Academy Awards draw near. 

Best Original Score, Best Original Song

Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay

Supporting Actor

Supporting Actress

Best Director

Animated Film, Documentary, Foreign Language Film
Tuesday, March 2

Live Action, Animated and Documentary Shorts
Wednesday, March 2

Cinematography, Production Design, Costumes and Make Up
Wednesday, March 3

Actor
Thursday, March 4

Actress
Thursday, March 4

Picture, Sound
Friday, March 5

 

For the latest Oscar and Entertainment news, follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory.