Not surprisingly, the American Cinema Editors are pretty good at predicting what film will win Best Editing at the Oscars. But they also have a respectable track record at previewing the Best Picture winner. (Read the full report on Friday night’s ACE Awards here.)
The guild began handing out prizes in 1961. Over the first 38 years of these kudos, 25 ACE winners went on to claim the Editing Oscar as well, while 15 of the ACE honorees won Best Picture. However, of those 15 Best Picture champs that had first been feted by the guild, two of them — “Amadeus” (1984) and “Braveheart” (1995) — lost the Editing Oscar to “The Killing Fields” and “Apollo 13” respectively.
In 1999, the guild split their film prize in two: Drama and Musical/Comedy. In the 14 years since then, 11 of the ACE Drama winners won the Best Editing Oscar as did one of the Comedy/Musical champs (“Chicago,” 2002). Only twice has the ACE winner not also claimed an Oscar:
In 2000, the cutters of “Gladiator” and “Almost Famous” lost to “Traffic”;
In 2011, the editors of “The Descendants” and “The Artist” lost to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
With this split, ACE doubled the chances of predicting the Best Picture winner. The guild has gotten it right 9 times in the past 14 years. The exceptions were:
In 1999 — the first year of the double awards — ACE went with “The Matrix” and “Being John Malkovich” while the academy chose “American Beauty” as Best Picture;
In 2001, the ACE winners were “Black Hawk Down” and “Moulin Rouge!” while the academy feted “A Beautiful Mind” as Best Picture;
In 2004, the ACE champs were “The Aviator” and “Ray” while the academy opted for “Million Dollar Baby” as Best Picture.
In 2007, neither of the ACE honorees — “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Sweeney Todd” — were even in the Best Picture race which went to “No Country for Old Men.”
In 2010, the ACE champs were “The Social Network” and “Alice in Wonderland” while the academy crowned “The King’s Speech” as Best Picture.
That last occasion marked the second year of the expanded Best Picture race which is now decided by a preferential ballot rather than popular vote which is still used to determine the winner of the editing Oscar as well as most of the other categories. Two Drama ACE winners — “The Hurt Locker” (2009) and “Argo” (2012) — won Best Picture as did one Comedy/Musical ACE champ (“The Artist,” 2011). While “The Hurt Locker” and “Argo” also won the Editing Oscar, “The Artist” lost that race to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
This year’s two leading Best Picture contenders — “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” — both lost the Drama ACE award to another of the nine Best Picture nominees, “Captain Phillips.” However, it would be a shock if “Captain Phillips” were to prevail as Best Picture at the Oscars, given that it didn’t reap a bid for Best Director (Paul Greengrass) or Actor (Tom Hanks).
What do you think is going to win the Oscar for Best Picture? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Come back and change your predictions as often as you like till Oscar night, March 2.