With the ACE Eddie Award nominations dropping shockingly early, just three weeks away, we will once again see the year’s array of films divided up according to arbitrary types (thanks to Will Mavity on Twitter for bringing this to my attention). The Globes will also divide the key movies into what they perceive as Drama and “Comedy.” Some will undeniably be “comedies” but others really aren’t. Actual comedies would be films like Dolemite, Booksmart, Late Night. But among films being called comedies this year are at least three likely Best Picture titles that have more serious undertones — Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Jojo Rabbit, and The Two Popes, most notably.
The ACE Eddie Award nominees might look something like this:
Ford v Ferrari – Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, Dirk Westervelt
The Irishman – THE ONE THE ONLY THELMA
1917 – Lee Smith (though it’s ostensibly one continuous take, it will still be a feat to stitch all the segments together seamlessly, as was the case with ACE Eddie nominee Birdman.)
Marriage Story – Jennifer Lame
Joker – Jeff Groth
But these are also possible:
Parasite – Jinmo Yang <—especially this one, if any of the above don’t go.
Avengers: Endgame – Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt
Bombshell – Jon Poll
Waves (although this guild hasn’t been so supportive of director/editors in the past)
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker – Maryann Brandon, Stefan Grube
Us – Nicholas Monsour
Then we get to “Comedy” and Musical — which is slightly easier because it’s packed:
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Fred Raskin
Jojo Rabbit – Tom Eagles
Dolemite Is My Name – Billy Fox
Rocketman – Chris Dickens
The Two Popes – Fernando Stutz
Uncut Gems (this is comedy, right?) – Ben Safdie, Ronald Bronstein
The Farewell – Matt Friedman, Michael Taylor
Knives Out – Bob Ducsay
That’s how it could go at the ACE Editors Nominations but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will go the same way with the Golden Globes.
But it could go that way. In general, the Best Picture race — which is, it must be said, wide open with many more factors in play.
But if the frontrunner to win is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in “comedy” — and its main competitor will be Jojo Rabbit on that side — then that means on the other side its competition is likely The Irishman.
The showdown between Comedy and Drama is interesting, but it almost always tips in one direction or the other for the Best Picture win:
Let’s go back, oh, say 20+ years:
+ = Best Picture winner
* = GG winner
1998 – Saving Private Ryan* vs. Shakespeare in Love*+
1999 – American Beauty*+
2000 – Gladiator*+ vs. Traffic vs.
2001 – A Beautiful Mind*+ vs. Fellowship of the Ring vs. Moulin Rouge*
2002 – The Hours* vs. Gangs of New York vs. Chicago*+
2003 – Return of the King*+ vs. Lost in Translation*
2004 – The Aviator* vs. Million Dollar Baby+ vs. Sideways*
2005 – Brokeback Mountain* vs. Crash (which was not even nominated for a GG)
2006 – Babel* vs. The Departed+ vs.
Dreamgirls* vs. Little Miss Sunshine
2007 – Atonement* vs. No Country for Old Men + vs.
Sweeney Todd* vs. Juno
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire*+ vs.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona*
2009 – Avatar* vs. The Hurt locker+ vs.
2010 – The Social Network* vs. The King’s Speech+ vs. The Kids are All Right* (6/10 nominated for BP – all five in drama)
2011 – The Descendants* vs. Hugo vs. The Artist*+ (7/10 nominated for BP)
2012 – Argo*+ vs. Lincoln vs. Les Mis* vs. Silver Linings (7/9 nominated for BP, all five in drama)
2013 – 12 Years a Slave*+ vs. Gravity vs. American Hustle* vs. Wolf of Wall Street (8/9 land in BP, 4/5 in drama)
2014 – Boyhood* vs. Birdman*+ vs. Grand Budapest Hotel*(6/8 get in for BP)
2015 – The Revenant* vs. Spotlight+ vs. The Martian* (6/8 get in for BP)
2016 – Moonlight*+ vs. La La Land* (6 out of 9 get in for BP, all 5 in drama)
2017 – Three Billboards* vs. The Shape of Water+ vs. Lady Bird* vs. Get Out (7/9 get in for BP, all 5 in drama)
2018 – Green Book*+ vs. Bohemian Rhapsody* vs. Black Panther vs. BlackKklansman vs. A Star is Born (7/8 get in for BP)
Last year was a good example of a “comedy heavy” year with many top-tier Oscar titles turning up in the musical/comedy category, including A Star is Born, which really should have been in Drama. Dude offs himself at the end. Either way, that happened.
The key takeaways:
— Only once did a movie that didn’t win or wasn’t nominated for the Globe go on to win Best Picture (Crash).
— It’s more likely that a movie from the Drama wins the Oscar but it can happen that a Comedy does; it just doesn’t happen as often.
— The Drama category in general is more packed with eventual Best Picture nominees, especially in the era of the expanded ballot.
–As you can see, since the Academy expanded the ballot, it has become less common for a film to win the Globe and not be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
Just for fun, let’s look at the Ace Eddie winners — and/or nominees to see how they’ve fared with Best Picture. I know, this is deep and wonky but what the hell.
+=Best Picture winner
*=Best Picture Nominee
^=Oscar editing winner
2018 – Bohemian Rhapsody*^ / The Favourite*
2017 – I Tonya / Dunkirk*^
2016 – Arrival*/ La La Land* (Hacksaw Ridge*^)
2015 – The Big Short* / Mad Max: Fury Road*^
2014 – Boyhood* / Grand Budapest Hotel* (Whiplash^)
2013 – Captain Phillips* / American Hustle* (Gravity*^)
2012 – Argo+^ / Silver Linings Playbook*
2011 – The Descendants* / The Artist* (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo^)
2010 – The Social Network*^ / Alice in Wonderland
2009 – The Hurt Locker+^ / The Hangover
The only takeaway I get from this is that it’s actually extremely rare for an ACE Eddie winner to go on to win Best Picture. We already know that it’s harder for a Best Picture to win without an editing nod. In the era of the expanded ballot it’s only happened once – with Spotlight.
However (at least according to this), if you win the ACE and Best Picture you are more likely to win the Oscar for Editing. Of course you can also win ACE and win the Oscar for Editing but not win Best Picture (like Gravity, like The Social Network, like Fury Road, like Bohemian Rhapsody).
This is a strange year for a number of reasons, and the outcome could tip either way. But with so many of its competitors out of the way in the comedy category, The Irishman could become a more formidable contender because it is in the drama category, where it should have an easier path to win (in my opinion). If it doesn’t win there – like at the Globes or at ACE then it may be a sign that it’s less likely to win the Best Picture Oscar, although Spotlight did it.
Where do you all think the ACE will land?