Saturday, February 8, 2014

ACE Eddie winners

One of the craft categories I'm having the hardest time predicting this year is Best Film Editing. I may keep going back and forth on the issue right up until the eve of the Oscars (and possibly well into the show)! But last night's American Cinema Editors (ACE Eddie) Awards lent some clarity into what the experts themselves think, and the news is not at all surprising.

Christopher Rouse took home top honours in Best Edited Feature (Drama) for Captain Phillips, and may well take the Oscar as well on March 2nd. Even though the film is apparently not the strongest Best Picture contender, having missed out on Best Director and Actor nominations, sometimes the Academy does vote for the film with the most obvious editing. Remember The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Black Hawk Down, The Matrix, and The Bourne Ultimatum (which brought Rouse his first Oscar) managed to win without Best Picture nominations even. Still, one gets the feeling that a Gravity sweep could tilt this category in Alfonso Cuaron's favour.

Over in Best Edited Feature (Musical/Comedy) the winner was, as expected, American Hustle. The film was the strongest Best Picture contender in the lineup, and editors Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, & Alan Baumgarten clearly had a huge task of finding and splicing the best of its many electric performances. I myself would have given it to Thelma Schoonmaker in a heartbeat for the similar, yet much more gargantuan, task she had in cutting The Wolf of Wall Street, but didn't count on her winning. I guess if American Hustle is still a contender for Best Picture, then we have to consider it a darkhorse in this category as well.

Best Edited Animated Feature went the way of Frozen editor Jeff Draheim (a nice bit of recognition after losing the Annie to Monsters University), as the film continues its seemingly unimpeded march to Oscar.

A more contested Oscar category is Best Documentary, and the Best Edited Documentary prize for Douglas Bush, Kevin Klauber, & Jason Zeldes gives a nice boost to 20 Feet from Stardom. It still faces stiff competition from The Square, which won the DGA two weeks ago. They are the only two Oscar nominated documentaries to win any guild awards this season (other guild winners Stories We Tell and We Steal Secrets were sadly snubbed).

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