‘The Artist,’ ‘The Descendants’ among ACE Eddie winners

Two of the five Oscar nominees for Best Editing — “The Artist” and “The Descendants” — won ACE Eddie Awards on Saturday. 

The Artist” won the comedy cutting prize over “Bridesmaids,” “Midnight in Paris,” “My Week with Marilyn” and “Young Adult

On the drama side, “The Descendants” prevailed over “Hugo,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Moneyball” and “War Horse.” 

The winner of the Golden Eddie has proven to be one of the best indicators of which film takes home the Best Picture Oscar. Since 1990, a film that came up with the ACE went on to win the top prize at the Academy Awards 15 times.

Besides “The Artist” and “The Descendants,” the other Oscar nominees are “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Hugo” and “Moneyball.”

In four of the six years when the ACE barometer was wrong, the Eddie champ was at least a contender for Best Picture. That includes last year when the team that cut critics’ darling “The Social Network” (Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter) won over the Eddies and claimed the editing Oscar as well but saw their film fall to “The King’s Speech” for the Best Picture prize. 

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In 2007, neither of the Eddie winners — “The Bourne Ultimatum” nor “Sweeney Todd” — made the final five Best Picture nominees at the Oscars and 1999 the same fate befell “The Matrix” and “Being John Malkovich.”

Though ACE has a good track record as a Best Picture predictor and a great one for forecasting who will win the Editing Oscar (18 out of 21 years), it is surprising that it is not all knowing when it comes to the Editing Oscar nominations. Since 1992, when the Eddies went to five nominees from three, 85 of the 105 Oscar nominees for Editing had first gotten a Golden Eddie nod. Last year, four of Eddie nominees contended at the Oscars (“127 Hours” got the fifth slot) while in 2009, only three of five ACE drama nominees — “Avatar,” “District 9” and “The Hurt Locker” — reaped Oscar bids with “Inglorious Basterds” and “Precious” added to the mix.

Although this track record appears impressive enough, ACE doubled its chances of getting it right when it split Dramas and Comedy/Musicals into separate kudos in 1999. Two years ago, the Comedy/Musical Eddie went to Stephen Schaffer for “Wall-E.” Schaffer — a 2004 nominee for “The Incredibles” — made history with this win as it was the first time an animated film had taken one of these kudos since they were first handed out 62 years ago.

Since then, the Eddies have introduced a separate Animated category. This year’s winner was “Rango” over “The Adventures of Tintin” and “Puss in Boots.”

The awards were presented at the Beverly Hilton in a ceremony hosted by Patton Oswalt. “The Descendants” director Alexander Payne was feted with the Filmmaker Award while Clint Eastwood presented his long-time editor Joel Cox with the Career Achievement Award. 

The other winners were:

Documentary Feature: “Freedom Riders”

Half-Hour TV Series: “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

Hour TV Series (Commercial): “Breaking Bad”

Hour TV Series (Non-Commercial): “Homeland”

TV Movie/Miniseries: “Mildred Pierce”

Reality TV Series: “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” 

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