This Friday’s Eddie Awards, bestowed by the American Cinema Editors society, won’t clear up the Best Picture race at the Oscars. Since 1990, the film that came up with an ACE has gone on to win the top prize at the Academy Awards 17 of 24 times. But this year, our two Oscar frontrunners — “Boyhood” and “Birdman” — are each likely to win one of these precursor prizes.
“Boyhood” is overwhelmingly favored to take the drama editing race over three of its rivals for Best Editing at the Oscars — “American Sniper,” “The Imitation Game” and “Whiplash” — as well as “Gone Girl” and “Nightcrawler.”
And “Birdman,” which was snubbed by the editors branch at the Oscars, is expected to win the comedy/muscal editing award over Oscar nominee “The Grand Budapest Hotel” as well as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Inherent Vice” and “Into the Woods.”
In five of the seven years when the ACE barometer was wrong, an Eddie champ was at least a contender for Best Picture, including last year when both the drama winner (“Captain Phillips”) and the comedy/musical champ (“American Hustle”) were among the eight Best Picture nominees that lost to “12 Years a Slave.”
In 2007, neither of the Eddie winners — “The Bourne Ultimatum” nor “Sweeney Todd” — made the final five contenders for Best Picture at the Oscars and in 1999 the same fate befell “The Matrix” and “Being John Malkovich.”
ACE has a good track record as a Best Picture predictor and a great one for forecasting what will win Best Editing at the Oscars (19 out of 24 years). Indeed, we are predicting that “Boyhood” will win that Oscar race.
Thus, it is surprising that ACE is not all knowing when it comes to foreseeing the five nominees for Best Editing at the Oscars. Since 1992, when the Eddies went to five nominees from three, 101 of the 115 Oscar nominees for Editing had first reaped a Golden Eddie nod.
This year, all five Oscar nominees are in contention here first. Last year, four Eddie nominees went on to vie for Best Editing at the Oscars including eventual winner “Gravity” as well as ACE champs “American Hustle” and “Captain Phillips” as well as “12 Years a Slave.” The fifth Oscar nominee was “Dallas Buyers Club.”
In both 2012 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 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. Five 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 back in 1950.
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