ACE Eddies Awards preview: ‘La La Land’ and ‘Arrival’ will win this important precursor prize

The American Cinema Editors hand out the Eddie Awards on Friday (Jan. 27). Oscar watchers are sure to be in attendance as they are keenly aware that ACE is aces as one of the best indicators of which film takes home the Best Picture Oscar.

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Six of the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture — “Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight” — are in contention at these precursor prizes; he cutters of “Fences,” “Hidden Figures” and “Lion” were snubbed by the guild.  (Check out the full list of Eddie Awards nominations.)

The tune-filled “La La Land” vies for the comedy/musical award against Deadpool,” “Hail, Caesar!” “The Jungle Book” and “The Lobster.” The other five Best Picture Oscar nominees in the running here make up the drama slate.

NEW: Oscar predictions by experts in all 24 categories

Our exclusive odds for the ACE Eddie Awards are derived from the predictions of film Experts, Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year’s winners, the All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years, and thousands of total Users who make up the largest (and often savviest) bloc of predictors.

“La La Land” is far out in front in the comedy/musical race with leading odds of 1/10. Its closet rival is “Deadpool” at 33/1 while both “The Jungle Book” and “Hail, Caesar!” are at 50/1 and “The Lobster” has odds of 100/1.

Over on the drama side, “Arrival” has the edge over “Moonlight” with odds of 8/5 versus 5/2. In third place is “Hacksaw Ridge” at 4/1, followed by “Manchester by the Sea” at 9/1 and “Hell or High Water” with odds of 40/1.

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Since 1990, the film that came up with the ACE went on to win the top prize at the Academy Awards 17 times. And in seven of the nine 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 (“Mad Max: Fury Road”) and the comedy champ (“The Big Short”) were among the seven Best Picture nominees that lost the top Oscar to “Spotlight.”

Last year, “Mad Max: Fury Road” went on to win the Film Editing Academy Award. That marked the 20th time in 26 years that the guild had previewed the eventual Oscar champ. This year’s line-up of Film Editing Oscar nominees is “Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “La La Land” and “Moonlight.”

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