Over the past 10 years, members of American Cinema Editors society and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voters have shared winners for excellence in film editing in all but a few cases.
Still, there are some notable distinctions in each orgnization’s sensibilites, which are evident among ACE’s picks for feature film: comedy or musical category. The inclusion of this second category, along with dramatic feature, allows for a broader swath of nominees and reveals a quirkier outlook than at AMPAS, where lighter fare is often reserved for the animated feature film picks. Among Oscar nominations for film editing, live-action comedies and musicals are largely left out entirely.
2009’s war-themed drama “The Hurt Locker” (edited by Bob Murawski and Chris Innis) scored both an Oscar and an ACE Eddie for film editing. But ACE’s dual categories meant that raunchy comedy “The Hangover” (edited by Debra Neil-Fisher) also scored a shiny Eddie of its own. The movie — which saw more commercial success than critical acclaim — was entirely overlooked at AMPAS (a fact that its star, Bradley Cooper, riffed on at the recent Oscar nominees luncheon).
Subtle differences in sensibilities between ACE and AMPAS are also detectable among ACE members’ picks in the dramatic category. ACE’s dramatic category and the Oscars film editing nominees shared 2001’s “Memento,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “A Beautiful Mind,” and “Black Hawk Down” (which won an Eddie and an Oscar). ACE members also brought some magic to the awards, with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Oscars voters, in contrast, nominated “Moulin Rouge,” which had a home in ACE’s comedy/musical category where it won. No “Harry Potter” film snagged an Oscar nom for film editing.
In 2003, it was AMPAS that arguably took a fresher view of film editing, with its nomination of Brazilian editor Daniel Rezende for the kinetic import “City of God.” In its dramatic category, ACE members intead nominated veteran American editor Joel Cox’s “Mystic River”; their other four dramatic nominations matched those of AMPAS.
This year, picks by ACE members and AMPAS voters largely overlapped again. One notable difference is the Academy’s omission of “Skyfall,” the latest James Bond installment, edited by Stuart Baird. Voters opted instead for Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers’ work on “Silver Linings Playbook,” which also saw an ACE nomination in the society’s ever-welcoming category: comedies and musicals.
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