Friday's Eddie Awards, bestowed by the American Cinema Editors society, won't clear up the Best Picture race at the Oscars. "The Big Short" and "Mad Max: Fury Road," which number among the eight nominees for Best Picture, are tipped to take the cutting prizes for comedy and drama respectively. And while another leading Best Picture contender, "The Revenant," is nominated on the drama side, Oscar frontrunner "Spotlight" was snubbed by this guild.
Margaret Sixel ("Mad Max: Fury Road") is overwhelmingly favored to take the drama editing race over two of her rivals for Best Editing at the Oscars — "The Revenant" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" — as well as "The Martian" and "Sicario."
And Hank Corwin ("The Big Short") is expected to easily win the comedy/muscal editing award over "Ant-Man," "Joy," "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" and "Trainwreck."
Since 1990, the film that came up with the ACE went on to win the top prize at the Academy Awards 17 times. In six of the eight years when the ACE barometer was wrong, the Eddie champ was at least a contender for Best Picture, including last year when both the drama winner ("Boyhood") and the comedy champ ("The Grand Budapest Hotel") were among the seven Best Picture nominees that lost to "Birdman." 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."
While the editors of "Birdman," Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione, contended with the guild they were snubbed by the editors branch of the academy. Conversely, Tom McArdle, the cutter of "Spotlight," is among those nominated for Best Film Editing at the Oscars. However, he is expected to lose that race to Sixel.
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 the last 25 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, 101 of the 115 Oscar nominees for Editing had first reaped a Golden Eddie nod.
Last year all five Oscar nominees for Best Editing first reaped Eddie bids: eventual Oscar champ "Whiplash" as well as ACE champs "Boyhood" and "Grand Budapest," plus "American Sniper" and "The Imitation Game."
In 2013, 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. In 2008, 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.
Since then, the Eddies have introduced a separate Animated editing category. This year, "Inside Out" is predicted to win that award over "Anomalisa" and "The Good Dinosaur."
And in the Documentary editing race, Oscar frontrunner "Amy" is predicted to prevail over "Cobain: Montage of Heck," Going Clear," "He Named Me Malala" and "The Wrecking Crew."
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