The Editor’s guild, the American Cinema Editors (or ACE), announced their awards Friday night. In doing so they did their best to throw open the doors on this crazy, super-competitive Oscar season – doors that had nonetheless seemed to be closing recently around Gravity as the most likely winner of the top prize.
ACE separates nominees into Comedy and Drama, so American Hustle‘s win in the former was unsurprising. It was the only Oscar nominee in the category, and it’s biggest competition was The Wolf of Wall Street. The biggest competition was for Drama, where top Oscar contenders Gravity and 12 Years a Slave were beat out by Captain Phillips.
In hindsight, perhaps this was as big a shocker as it seems. Phillips‘ director Paul Greengrass had already been selected to receive the guild’s Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year award. Meanwhile, the film’s editor Christopher Rouse is hugely respected within the industry, and his work really was fantastic. There is precedent here: in 2007 Rouse and Greengrass’ The Bourne Ultimatum beat Oscar frontrunners No Country for Old Men, and There Will Be Blood, before going on to take the Editing Oscar as well. Add to that the general rule that “more” usually wins in technical categories. Gravity, whose technical marvel is undeniable, builds its suspense in part through the use of several extremely long takes. In light of that it’s really no surprise that Rouse’ tight, quick-cut style would be favored by the editors.
Does that mean Phillips will go on to do the same in the Oscars’ Editing category? Possibly. Gravity or 12 Years or even Hustle could still take it if any of those films start to sweep. But this also could be the best opportunity to reward a highly admired film that nonetheless took a bit of a beating on nomination day, missing out on expected nods for Greengrass and Tom Hanks. If it won, it probably won’t mean much for the top prize beyond helping to keep us all guessing to the very end.
Here is the complete list of the ACE Eddie Award winners. (Click here for the nominations.)
Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
Christopher Rouse, A.C.E.
Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)
Jay Cassidy, A.C.E., Crispin Struthers & Alan Baumgarten, A.C.E.
Best Animated Feature Film
Best Edited Documenatary (Feature)
“20 Feet from Stardom”
Douglas Blush, Kevin Klauber & Jason Zeldes
Best Edited Documentary (Feature)
“The Assassination of President Kennedy”
Chris A. Peterson
Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television
“The Office” – “Finale”
David Rogers & Claire Scanlon
Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television
“Breaking Bad” – “Felina”
Skip MacDonald A.C.E.
Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television
“Homeland” – “Big Man in Tehran”
Terry Kelley, A.C.E.
Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television
“Behind the Candelabra”?
Mary Ann Bernard
Best Edited Non-Scripted Series
“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” – “Tokyo”
Best Student Editing
Ambar Salinas, Video Symphony
ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award
Lifetime Career Achievement Award
Richard Halsey, A.C.E.
Robert C. Jones
Randy Roberts, A.C.E.