‘Star Wars,’ ‘Ant-Man,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ Among ACE Eddie Awards Nominees

ACE Eddie Award Nominations
Courtesy of AMC/Disney

The first industry group to recognize Lucasfilm's box office giant speaks up.

The American Cinema Editors nominated “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for best film editing of a dramatic feature Monday. It is the first industry awards group to recognize J.J. Abrams’ record-breaking sequel.

Prior to the film’s world premiere in mid-December, Disney opted out of screening it for groups with early voting deadlines, like the Screen Actors Guild. ACE balloting ran from Dec. 4 through Dec. 29, wrapping up just as the Lucasfilm blockbuster crossed the $600 million mark at the domestic box office in record time.

Raking in another $88 million over the weekend, “The Force Awakens” is on course to eclipse “Avatar’s” all-time mark by the end of Tuesday.

Also nominated in the dramatic category was “The Martian,” contradictory to the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s controversial comedy classification earlier this season.

The two films were joined by “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Revenant” and “Sicario.”

In the comedy field, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” was nominated alongside Adam McKay’s housing crisis adaptation “The Big Short,” quasi-Joy Mangano biopic “Joy,” Sundance award winner “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” and Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck.”

“Spotlight” was the most notable absentee in the dramatic category. Tom McCarthy’s journalism yarn has become the de facto best picture frontrunner in recent weeks on the strength of consensus awards recognition across the various regional film critics organizations.

Historically, however, the best film editing Oscar category has been a significant barometer for the best picture category, particularly in the last decade. Yet last year’s “Birdman” was the first film since “Ordinary People” to win best picture without a corresponding film editing nomination, snapping a 33-year streak.

“Driving Miss Daisy” was the last film to win the Academy Award for best picture without an ACE nomination, 26 years ago. It was, however, nominated for the film editing Oscar.

ACE nominees for animated features included “Anomalisa,” “Inside Out” and “The Good Dinosaur,” while the documentary category comprised “Amy,” “Cobain: Montage of Heck,” “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” “He Named Me Malala” and “The Wrecking Crew.”

On the television side, episodes from “Silicon Valley,” “Veep,” “Fargo,” “Mad Men” and “The Knick” (Steven Soderbergh, under alias Mary Ann Bernard) were among the nominees. Two episodes each from “Better Call Saul” and “Game of Thrones” were recognized, while a 90-minute episode of “Orange is the New Black” found room in the longform category.

Winners will be announced at the 66th annual ACE Eddie Awards on Jan. 29.

Full list of film and television nominees:

FILM

Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (Margaret Sixel)
“The Martian” (Pietro Scalia, ACE)
“The Revenant” (Stephen Mirrione, ACE)
“Sicario” (Joe Walker, ACE)
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Maryann Brandon, ACE & Mary Jo Markey, ACE)

Best Edited Feature Film – Comedic
“Ant-Man” (Dan Lebental, ACE & Colby Parker, Jr., ACE)
“The Big Short” (Hank Corwin, ACE)
“Joy” (Jay Cassidy, ACE, Alan Baumgarten, ACE, Christopher Tellefsen, ACE & Tom Cross, ACE)
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (David Trachtenberg)
“Trainwreck” (William Kerr, ACE & Paul Zucker)

Best Edited Animated Film
“Anomalisa” (Garret Elkins)
“Inside Out” (Kevin Nolting, ACE)
“The Good Dinosaur” (Stephen Schaffer, ACE)

Best Edited Documentary – Feature
“Amy” (Chris King)
“Cobain: Montage of Heck” (Joe Beshenkovsky & Brett Morgen)
“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” (Andy Grieve)
“He Named Me Malala” (Greg Finton, ACE, Brian Johnson & Brad Fuller)
“The Wrecking Crew” (Claire Scanlon)

TELEVISION

Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television
“Inside Amy Schumer” – “12 Angry Men” (Nick Paley)
“Silicon Valley” – “Two Days of the Condor” (Brian Merken, ACE)
“Veep” – “Election Night” (Gary Dollner)

Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television
“Better Call Saul” – “Five-O” (Kelley Dixon, ACE)
“Better Call Saul” – “Uno” (Skip Macdonald, ACE)
“Fargo” – Did You Do This? No, You Did It!” (Skip Macdonald, ACE & Curtis Thurber)
“The Good Wife” – “Restrain” (Scott Vickrey, ACE)
“Mad Men” – “Person to Person” (Tom Wilson)

Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television
“Game of Thrones” – “The Dance of Dragons” (Katie Weiland)
“Game of Thrones” – “Hardhome” (Tim Porter)
“Homeland” – “The Tradition of Hospitality” (Harvey Rosenstock, ACE)
“House of Cards” – “Chapter 39” (Lisa Bromwell, ACE)
“The Knick” – “Wonderful Surprises” (Mary Ann Bernard)

Best Edited Longform (Miniseries or Motion Picture) for Television
“Bessie” (Brian A. Kates, ACE)
“Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” (Maysie Hoy, ACE)
“Orange is the New Black” – “Trust No Bitch” (90 minute episode) (William Turro)

Best Edited Non-Scripted Series
“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” – “Bay Area” (Hunter Gross, ACE)
“Deadliest Catch” – “Zero Hour” (Josh Earl, ACE & Ben Bulatao)
“Whale Wars” – “The Darkest Hour” (Eric Driscoll, Nik Jamgocyan, Chris Kirkpatrick, David Michael Maurer, ACE, Greg McDonald, Marcus Miller & Alexandria Scott )

Best Edited Documentary – Television
“Keith Richards: Under the Influence” (Joshua L. Pearson
“The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst – Chapter 1” (Richard Hankin, ACE, Zac Stuart-Pontier, Caitlyn Greene, Shelby Siegel)
“The Seventies: The United State vs. Nixon” (Chris A. Peterson, ACE)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I doubt any of them saw “Spotlight” and even if they did, it’s not that great. In the “All the President’s Men” type movies out this year, “Truth” is much better re: editing. The ACE deadline was super early this year. I think it’s going to be an “all over the place” awards season as more people have more time to catch up on all the screeners (that they haven’t yet seen) and many of these popcorn/sequel/money-making movies fall by the wayside by artistic comparison.

  2. Marjem Kalter says:

    “Me and Earl….” ….fantastic!

  3. stu freeman says:

    For a second there I confused Better Call Saul with Son of Saul. Now THAT would have been a startling nomination. The editors seem to think that “action movies” are the ones that are necessarily the best edited. If Spotlight or Carol had incorporated a few battle scenes or car chase sequences they would have had a better chance of making the grade here. They also won’t get nominated by the sound editors because they don’t contain explosions or fireworks.

  4. Spotlight, R.I.P. For the past 4 years, the ACE nominees mirrored the Directors nominees. JJ took a big-time step in the right direction.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Wow, no “Spotlight.” Inexplicable, really, for an impeccably cut Best Picture frontrunner. Can’t imagine what they were thinking leaving it out.

  6. Iván el Terrible says:

    Sicario deserves more love than The Force Awakens.
    Sicario tells a story, The Force Awakens is a “how to turn sci fi into SJW crap” lesson.

  7. jim says:

    I was not a fan of some of the editing on TFA. Cropping shots so tight and fast quick edits so You can’t tell whats going on? I hate that> I wanted to yell in the theatre pul the f—ing camera back so we can see wants going on. I pray jj’s people do not work on the next star wars.

  8. Gustavo H.R. says:

    Happy for the well-deserved mention for Sicario. It’s a film that has gone under the radar during this awards season.

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