Monday’s American Cinema Editors nominations include all of the frontrunners for Best Picture at the Oscars. “The Artist” and “Midnight in Paris” contend for the comedy cutting award against “Bridesmaids,” “My Week with Marilyn” and “Young Adult” while “The Descendants” and “Hugo” vie on the drama side against “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, the film that came up with the ACE went on to win the top prize at the Academy Awards 15 times.
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.
In 2007, neither of the Eddie winners — “The Bourne Ultimatum” nor “Sweeney Todd” — made the final five 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, 82 of the 10 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.
The Eddie Awards take place on Feb. 18 at the Beverly Hilton.