How are awards are given in the editing category?

In 2013, Argo (2012) won an Oscar for editing. I saw the movie, but I didn't notice any noticeable editing effects like rapid cut sticking out, like I experienced in Requiem for a Dream (2000) (these did not compete against each other, though).

Then how are awards given in the editing category? What are the objective criteria or process for choosing nominees and winners in this category for the Academy Awards? Are there any general criteria that define "good" editing?

  • I am afraid that the answer will be opinion based too...
    – mattiav27
    Jul 17 '16 at 11:46
  • 1
    Also, the editing doesn't have to be blatant to be good, it's supposed to compliment the story. Sometimes it's better when you don't notice the editing and it simply draws you in, where overly stylish editing might distract you and draw you out.
    – Walt
    Jul 17 '16 at 12:27
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    Well, the actual rules for the award are: the list of all eligible films is sent to the Academy Film Editors Branch, who vote for their top 5 choices in order. So, they can only choose among those films that are eligible. Then the list of films chosen is counted and the productions receiving the five highest vote totals is then sent to all Current and Lifetime Academy Award members who vote for their pick. So the list starts not from ALL films, but those films who are eligible. The final choice is not made by editors, but by all members.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 17 '16 at 13:05
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    Also, in the beginning of the Awards' history, film editing awards were given for "Advancements of Technique" (of editing). Now, it seems, that the more "outlandish" or "unusual" (or noticeable) the editing, the less likely to be chosen. From the list of films, it does seem that more often than not, films where the editing is not even noticeable as such, are chosen.
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 17 '16 at 13:09

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