There was one major surprise at the ACE Eddie Awards, where the American Cinema Editors honored the best in film editing. They chose all the expected favorites in feature film categories, except one: “Captain Phillips” upset “Gravity” to win Best Edited Drama Feature. This is the second major guild upset in favor “Captain Phillips,” which also surprised to win Best Adapted Screenplay at the WGA Awards.
“Frozen” won Best Edited Animated Film, continuing its sweep of Oscar precursors that has also included wins at the Golden Globes, PGA Awards, and Annie Awards.
“20 Feet from Stardom,” which profiles a group of background singers, won Best Edited Documentary. It was the only Oscar-contender among the ACE lineup. It defeated “Blackfish” and “Tim’s Vermeer,” both of which made the academy’s shortlist, but missed out on nominations.
TV winners included the usual suspects — “Breaking Bad” (One-Hour Commercial TV Series for “Felina”) and “Behind the Candelabra” (TV Movie/Miniseries) — as well as “Homeland” (One-Hour Non-Commercial Series for “Big Man in Tehran”) and “The Office” (Half-Hour TV Series for “Finale”).
The motion picture winner of the Golden Eddie for either drama or comedy/musical is one of the best indicators of which film wins the Best Picture Oscar. Since 1990, the film that came up with an ACE went on to take the top prize at the Academy Awards 17 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 2010 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 cut for Best Picture at the Oscars and in 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 (19 out of 23 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, 96 of the 110 Oscar nominees for Editing had first reaped a Golden Eddie nod.
This year, it went four for five missing out on the Oscar bid by “Dallas Buyers Club.” Both last year and in 2011, five of the Eddie nominees comprised the Oscar slate. In 2010, four 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 that 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.
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