‘The Social Network’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ are ACEs with editors

“The Social Network” was named the Best Edited Dramatic Film by the American Cinema Editors on Saturday night at the 61st annual edition of their honors.

The team of Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall prevailed over those who edited “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” Inception” and “The King’s Speech.” It also won this same prize at the BAFTAs last week, where craft awards are decided on by the specific branches of the British academy.

This Best Edited Comedy or Musical was “Alice in Wonderland” with Chris Lebenzon winning over the editors of “Easy A,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Made in Dagenham” and “Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.”

The ACE award for Best Edited Animated Feature went to Ken Schretzmann and Lee Unkrich for “Toy Story 3” over the teams from “Despicable Me” and “How to Train Your Dragon” while Tom Fulford and Chris King took the documentary prize for “Exit Through the Gift Shop” over those who edited “Inside Job” and “Waiting for ‘Superman’.”

This year, four of the five ACE Drama nominees are contending for the editing Oscar, with “Inception” dropped in favor of “127 Hours.” Unlike the academy, ACE thought so much of “Inception” writer/director Christopher Nolan that they bestowed on him the Golden Eddie, a lifetime achievement prize, at Saturday’s soiree at the Beverly Hilton. Also honored were two award-winning editors: three-time Emmy winner Michael Brown and three-time Oscar champ Michael Kahn.

Since 1992, when the Eddies went to five nominees from three, 82 of the 100 Oscar nominees for Editing had first gotten a Golden Eddie nod. Last year, only three of the five ACE drama nominees competed at the Oscars — “Avatar,” “District 9” and “The Hurt Locker” — with “Inglorious Basterds” and “Precious” added to the mix. “The Hurt Locker” won both awards.

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. Two 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 six decades ago. Since then, there has been a separate animated category.

Since 1990, 17 out of 19 Eddie winners went on to claim the edting Oscar as well. And 14 of the Eddie-winning films were named Best Picture. In three of the five years when the ACE barometer was wrong, their champ was at least a contender for Best Picture. The exceptions: in 2007 when neither “The Bourne Ultimatum” nor “Sweeney Todd” made the final five at the Oscars and 1999 when the same fate befell “The Matrix” and “Being John Malkovich.”

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