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Ace Eddie Preview

The American Cinema Editor (ACE) will hand out their awards this weekend. The ACE Eddie is the right up there with the SAG ensemble for being kind of a barometer of overall Academy taste.¬† What I’ve found in looking over ACE vs. Oscar history is that the nominees for editing matter more than what film wins editing. A Best Picture winner almost always has an editing nomination. It is more rare, though, for a film to win without any writing or any acting nominations than it is for the film to be missing an editing nod.

But the Eddies can often be slightly different from the Oscars. The winner of one of the categories tends to win the Oscar for editing, but not always.  You can judge for yourselves on the charts below.

Here are the feature film nominees for the Eddie (* denotes that they are also a Best Pic nominee, ^ denotes that they are an Oscar editing nominee):

Avatar *^
Stephen Rivkin, A.C.E., John Refoua, A.C.E. &
James Cameron, A.C.E.

District 9 *^
Julian Clarke

The Hurt Locker *^
Bob Murawski & Chris Innis

Star Trek
Mary Jo Markey, A.C.E & Maryann Brandon, A.C.E.

Up in the Air *
Dana Glauberman, A.C.E.

500 Days of Summer
Alan Edward Bell

The Hangover
Debra Neil-Fisher, A.C.E.

Julie & Julia
Richard Marks, A.C.E.

A Serious Man *
Roderick Jaynes

It’s Complicated
Joe Hutshing, A.C.E. & David Moritz
Christopher Murrie & Ronald Sanders

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Andrew Weisblum

UP *
Kevin Nolting

So probably the animated winner will be Up. It’s possible it could be any of them, but I suspect that the fact that Up is a Best Pic nominee gives it the edge. Musical/Comedy is a real problem. If it were me, I’d probably go for Julie & Julia as a film that is kind of notable for its editing back and forth (for better or worse). That would probably be my pick for that win. It’s either that, or you go with the Oscar rule and say that the only film with a Best Pic nod, A Serious Man, is your winner. Actually, that film had great editing.

Finally, the one that counts, as usual, is in the drama category. I really think it could be down to Avatar vs. The Hurt Locker. Either win could lend some momentum. Titanic won the Eddie and then won the Oscar in all-out sweep. Gun to my head I say The Hurt Locker. District 9 could also make a play here. The Hurt Locker has standout editing, though, and Best Picture heat. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

Why are the editors so important? Perhaps because editing is very closely aligned with directing. Unless the film stands out for its editing alone (like the Bourne film that won both categories) or was edited by an editing star (like Thelma Schoonmaker) somehow directing and editing are an essential component to a successful Best Pic winner.

I was building the editing page on the Contender Tracker and I was curious about how the editing rule applied to Oscar history back when there were ten nominees and back when they used the preferential balloting system. Did it matter if a film had an editing nod or not?

Working backwards from 1943, I discovered that it was possible for a film to win Best Picture without an editing nod, as with The Life of Emile Zola, but not possible without the other crucial nominations – directing, writing and acting.

1943 – Casablanca — Editing, writing, acting, directing
1942 – Mrs. Miniver — Editing, writing, acting, directing
1941 – How Green was My Valley – Editing, writing, acting, directing
1940 – Rebecca – Editing, writing, acting, directing
1939 – Gone with the Wind – Editing, writing, acting, directing
1938 – You Can’t Take it With You – Editing, writing, acting, directing
1937 – Life of Emile Zola – writing, acting, directing
1936 – The Great Ziegfeld – Editing, writing, acting, directing.

So, even though Up in the Air doesn’t have an editing nod, it would seem less important than if it were lacking a director, writer, or acting nod under the preferential system.

Ace Eddie Award Noms

Won ACE | Won
for editing

+ indicates also went on to win Best
Picture at the Oscars

* indicates nominated for Best Picture

Benjamin Button Benjamin Button*
The Dark Knight The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon Frost/Nixon*
Milk Milk*
Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire+
In Bruges
Mamma Mia
Tropic Thunder
Vicky Cristina Barcelona


The Bourne Ultimatum The Bourne Ultimatum
No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men+
There Will Be Blood There Will Be Blood*
Michael Clayton* Diving Bell and Butterfly
Into the Wild Into the Wild
Sweeney Todd
Pirates of the Caribbean


Babel* Babel+
Casino Royale Children of Men
The Departed* The Departed+
The Queen* Blood Diamond
United 93 United 93
Thank You for Smoking
The Devil Wears Prada
Little Miss Sunshine*
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest


Brokeback Mountain* Cinderella Man
The Constant Gardener The Constant Gardener
Crash+ Crash+
Good Night, and Good Luck*
Munich* Munich*
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
The Family Stone
Pride & Prejudice
Wedding Crashers
Walk the Line Walk the Line


Collateral Collateral
Finding Neverland* Finding Neverland*
Kill Bill Vol. 2
Million Dollar Baby* Million Dollar Baby+
The Aviator * The Aviator*
Eternal Sunshine
The Incredibles
Ray* Ray*


Cold Mountain Cold Mountain
Master and Commander* Master and Commander*
Mystic River* City of God
The Return of the King+ The Return of the King+
Seabiscuit* Seabiscuit*
Bend It Like Beckham
Finding Nemo
Lost in Translation*
Pirates of the Caribbean
School of Rock


The Hours* The Hours*
Gangs of New York* Gangs of New York*
About Schmidt
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Lord of the Rings: Two Towers *
Minority Report The Pianist*
About a Boy
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Chicago+ Chicago+
Punch-Drunk Love


A Beautiful Mind + A Beautiful Mind+
Black Hawk Down Black Hawk Down
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The Lord of the Rings: FOTR* Lord of the Rings*
Memento Memento

Gosford Park *
Monsters, Inc.
Rouge! *
Moulin Rouge*
The Royal Tenenbaums


Billy Elliot Wonder Boys
Cast Away
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon* Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon*
Gladiator+ Gladiator+
Traffic* Traffic*
Film Editing – Musical or Comedy
Almost Famous Almost Famous
Best In Show
Chocolat *
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Shanghai Noon


American Beauty + American Beauty+
The Insider* The Insider*
The Matrix The Matrix
The Sixth Sense * The Sixth Sense*
The Talented Mr. Ripley The Cider House Rules*
Film Editing – Musical or Comedy
Analyze This
Being John Malkovich
Man On the Moon
Run Lola Run


Out Of Sight Out Of Sight
Shakespeare In Love + Shakespeare In Love+
The Thin Red Line * The Thin Red Line*
Saving Private Ryan * Saving Private Ryan*
The Horse Whisperer Life Is Beautiful*


Air Force One Air Force One
As Good As It Gets * As Good As It Gets*
Good Will Hunting * Good Will Hunting*
L. A. Confidential * L. A. Confidential*
Titanic+ Titanic+


The English Patient+ The English Patient+
Evita Evita
Fargo * Fargo*
Shine * Shine*
The Rock Jerry Maguire*


Braveheart+ Braveheart+
Apollo 13 * Apollo 13*
Crimson Tide Crimson Tide
The Usual Suspects Babe*
Casino Se7en

Won ACE | Won Oscar

*Nominated for Best Picture

+Won Best Picture

-Won ACE/Oscar for editing but not nominated
for Best Pic

Check out the seven year
streak from 1990 on.

2008: Slumdog (Wall-E) Slumdog+
2007: The Bourne Ultimatim The Bourne Ultimatum
2006: The Departed (Babel) The Departed+
2005: Crash/Walk the Line Crash+
2004: The Aviator/Ray* The Aviator*
2003: Return of the King/Pirates of the Caribbean Return of the King+
2002: Gangs of New York*/Chicago Chicago+
2001: Black Hawk Down/Moulin Rouge* Black Hawk Down
2000: Gladiator/Almost Famous Traffic*
1999: The Matrix/Being John Malkovich The Matrix-
1998: Saving Private Ryan Saving Private Ryan*
1997: Titanic Titanic+
1996: The English Patient The English Patient+
1995: Braveheart Braveheart+
1994: Forrest Gump Forrest Gump+
1993: Schindler’s List
Schindler’s List+
1991: Unforgiven Unforgiven+
1990: Dances With Wolves Dances With Wolves+
1989: Glory Born on the Fourth of July*
1988: Mississippi Burning* Who Framed Roger Rabbit-
1987: The Last Emperor The Last Emperor+
1986: Platoon Platoon+
1985: Witness Witness*
1984: Amadeus+ The Killing Fields*
1983: War Games- The Right Stuff*
1982: Gandhi Gandhi+
1981: Raiders
of the Lost Ark
Raiders of
the Lost Ark*
1980: Raging Bull Raging Bull*
1979: All That Jazz All That Jazz*
1978: The Deer Hunter+ The Deer Hunter+
1977: The Turning Point+ Star Wars*
1976: Rocky Rocky+
1975: Jaws Jaws*
1974: The Longest Yard- Towering Inferno*
1973: The Sting The Sting+
1972: Cabaret Cabaret*
1971: Summer of ’42- French Connection+
1970: Patton+ Patton+
1969: Hello Dolly* Z*
1968: Bullit- Bullit-
1967: The Dirty Dozen- In the Heat of the Night+
1966: Fantastic Voyage- Grand Prix-
1965: Sound of Music Sound of Music+
1964: Mary Poppins Mary Poppins*
1963: How the West Was Won How the West Was Won*
1962: The Longest Day Lawrence of Arabia+
1961: The Parent Trap West Side Story+