ACE springs for Best Picture frontrunners

Posted by · 5:50 am · January 14th, 2011

Guy rightly noted yesterday a seemingly “whatever” coagulation of the guild awards circuit into “easy-to-recall season staples.” If you were hoping the American Cinema Editors (ACE) would put an end to that, keep dreaming.

Of course, ACE historically skews as populist and inside-the-box as the DGA set, which is why the two are often coupled for maximum tea leaf importance when forecasting Oscar. But one at least hoped for a “District 9”-level statement of “we like stuff that has no chance of winning Best Picture,” but it wasn’t to be.

The “surprise,” for most, will likely be Pamela Martin joining the guild party for “The Fighter,” but given the givens, it’s not such a left-field pick. Season heavy, boxing film (which does well with editors), etc. She’ll probably be an Oscar nominee, too, but I must say, it’s a shame the year’s best job at the Steambeck, “Shutter Island,” was ignored here after an early below-the-line guild showing.

The other four nominees fill out the five Best Picture frontrunners we’ve had our sights on for a little while now. I resubmit my DGA reasoning as potential explanation for Roderick Jaynes, aka Joel and Ethan Coen, missing for “True Grit,” but “127 Hours” falling short is probably a bigger story here.

Justice was served in the documentary category, where “Exit Through the Gift Shop” was one of three finalists. But that’s all I have to cheer about as Thelma watches it unfold without her.  Although on the TV side of things I should note that the inclusion of “Deadliest Catch” episode “Redemption Day” is class.  You might remember me being floored by that season finale last year.

Check out the full list of theatrical ACE nominees at The Circuit.

(Also, if you’re keeping score, “Black Swan” and “Inception” are the only films to have received nominations from every guild/society to have announced so far: PGA, DGA, SAG, WGA, ADG, ASC, ACE, CAS, VES.  Will the costumers break the tie next week?)

[Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures]

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25 responses so far

  • 1 1-14-2011 at 6:03 am

    Maxim said...

    The editing of Black Swan was perhaps my favorite technical aspect of that picture so I am glad to see it being recognized.

    I sort of doubt that the tie Kris is speaking of will be broken as I expect both films to be recognized both by MPSE and CDG. I guess Black Swan could theoretically be snubbed by the latter guild but given it’s current standing I wouldn’t bet against it.

  • 2 1-14-2011 at 6:15 am

    Andrej said...

    I just saw Buried last night. I’m kinda surprised it’s not showing up anywhere in these tech guilds awards. I hoped the editors would recognize it or something, but the fact that they also omitted 127 Hours it’s a bit dissapointing. Not that The Fighter’s editing’s bad or anything, but save for a couple of scenes, it didn’t really stand out that much for me as a whole. It didn’t feel like a unique frame for the narrative.

    But… from those nominees, I’d say take those from Drama (though as stated, 127 Hours or Buried could enter instead of The Fighter), and replace The King’s Speech with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and you’d have my picks for the Oscars. Yeah, the editing in that movie was very polarizing, but it’s one of the most showier and stylish editings this year, and like Inception and The Social Network, it wrapped the story on its own way very nicely in my opinion.

  • 3 1-14-2011 at 6:26 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Nothing surprising about The Fighter’s nomination here — it’s an impressive showcase for Martin, and not just in the boxing scenes.

    If I were to be surprised about any of these, it’d be The King’s Speech, but I’m not — the meme has been declared, and evidently must be followed to the letter by every Guild, on pain of death.

    Meanwhile, can any working film editors tell me how the lumpy, scarcely coherent Alice in Wonderland is more deserving of mention here than the tack-sharp cutting of Please Give?

  • 4 1-14-2011 at 6:28 am

    Indiana said...

    No matter the strength of her work on SHUTTER ISLAND, Thelma Schoonmaker has been nominated and won so many awards for her work over the years (including 4 Eddies)- on films most seem to consider on a whole to be stronger than SHUTTER. I can’t really feel any love lost for allowing some new people to play the game this year.

    Like others I’m delighted at the incredibly strong award showing for BLACK SWAN which so many thought would be too divisive to be a strong year end awards player.

  • 5 1-14-2011 at 6:28 am

    Maxim said...

    “But one at least hoped for a “District 9″-level statement of “we like stuff that has no chance of winning Best Picture,” but it wasn’t to be.”

    I am not exactly following the logic here. Last year, “District 9” showed up in the “Best Edited Feature (Dramatic)” category, the same one that typically contains showy BP nominated fodder. Sure, some these clearly will not win the prize but they are part of the club.

    I guess it’s true that, along with Star Trek, it was one of the longshots for the nod but I wouldn’t exactly see it as an example of ACE making any sort of a statement, especially since by the time editors announced, the producers had already nominated “District 9” (I admit that dates weren’t too far apart to make much difference though).

    I mean, it’s the “Best Edited Feature (Comedy or Musical)” is where you are far more likely to find suprises but I guess that’s sort of understood.

  • 6 1-14-2011 at 6:37 am

    Graysmith said...

    Editing seemed like one of the more likely guild nominations for The Fighter, so I’m not surprised. It’s a bit boring looking at that list, but it’s hard to argue against their choices. And at least they have a few other categories to remind you that yes, indeed, there were a few more films released this year.

  • 7 1-14-2011 at 6:40 am

    JJ1 said...

    The surprise for me is The King’s Speech. If the film winds up getting nommed at the Oscars for Editing and Cinematography (now that it’s got ACE, ASC noms) ….. then watch out.

    That would make TKS the most nommed film (unless Inception gets an acting nod) and we’ll know where AMPAS’ love lies.

    I, too, hoped for Shutter Island. But cest la vie.

  • 8 1-14-2011 at 6:41 am

    red_wine said...

    Whatever indeed.

  • 9 1-14-2011 at 6:43 am

    JJ1 said...

    I actually think that TKS has a better shot at being nominated for Best Editing at the Oscars than it does for Cinematography; if it’s to miss any, at all.

  • 10 1-14-2011 at 7:41 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Is it not interesting that, just like the Producers’ Guild, the editors sprung for “Despicable Me” over “Tangled” in the animated category?

    That third Best Animated Feature spot has turned into a total crapshoot.

  • 11 1-14-2011 at 7:42 am

    Estefan said...

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the nomination for Scott Pilgrim. Doubt that will translate to an Oscar nomination, but it’s nice to see it has the support of the editors. And I hope it wins at the ACE, as the editing in The Kids Are All Right was fairly standard, while SP played around with the technique a lot more to wonderful effect.

    On another note, I seriously hope that Tangled gets the animated feature nod over Despicable Me. Considering the use of musical numbers and high-adrenaline action sequences in the former, I’m surprised the ACE didn’t nod it. Oh, well. Unkrich will and should win here.

  • 12 1-14-2011 at 7:44 am

    Dreyer. said...

    No mention of Nolan getting the Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award..

    Business as usual

  • 13 1-14-2011 at 7:49 am

    Maxim said...

    Dreyer, Nolan is madly in love with Scorsese but he didn’t mention his DGA nom for TV work either.

  • 14 1-14-2011 at 7:50 am

    Maxim said...

    And by Nolan I meant Tapley. Wow. But you know what? Let’s just leave it as is.

  • 15 1-14-2011 at 7:52 am

    Joseph W said...

    I’m anticipating King’s Speech getting the most nominations, getting editing and cinematography nods and being the front-runner.

  • 16 1-14-2011 at 7:54 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Dreyer: You’d clearly be happy elsewhere. So please, go elsewhere.

  • 17 1-14-2011 at 7:56 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    “Will the costumers break the tie next week?”

    God, I hope not. Jeffrey Kurland’s threads were awesome in Inception.

  • 18 1-14-2011 at 7:57 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Joseph: “Most nominations” hardly equals “frontrunner” these days. Just ask The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Babel, The Aviator, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring…

  • 19 1-14-2011 at 8:00 am

    Maxim said...

    Guy, I don’t see anything in Joseph’s response that would imply causation. He just said that the film would get both the most noms AND will be the frontrunner.

    But I guess you could read it differently.

  • 20 1-14-2011 at 8:09 am

    Dominik said...

    Everyone baffled by the ACE-nom for “The King´s Speech” should just take a closer look to the dramatic climax scene at the end of the movie, which is quite brilliantly edited and photographed. The preparation for the radio speech and the speech of the King itself, very subtly done (no flashy editing here, sorry), but enormously affecting.
    This was the first time that the audience in a press screening I attended stayed during the credits. One female journalist next to me just sayed “awesome!” (well, she said it in german: “Großartig!”).
    Of course everyone can disagree about certain movies and I feel it´s quite enriching for any discussion, but one should not be surprised – “The King´s Speech” is not most cinephiles cup of tea (although I do consider myself a cinephile), but it´s a winner.

  • 21 1-14-2011 at 8:13 am

    Dreyer. said...

    Tapley; Fully aware that some of my previous comments haven’t been responsable, but I didn’t know I was considered trolling. I’m truly sorry about that. I will consider my posts more carefully in the future.

    fair enough?

  • 22 1-14-2011 at 8:15 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Fine by me.

  • 23 1-14-2011 at 9:33 am

    Speaking English said...

    “127 Hours” should be here.

    But I love them for the “Scott Pilgrim” mention.

  • 24 1-14-2011 at 10:51 am

    Jeffrey said...

    If the Golden Globes comedy/musical nominees more closely matched the ACE nominees, I think that they would have received much less criticism. This is a formidable list of nominees.

  • 25 1-14-2011 at 1:27 pm

    brian said...

    Steenbeck, not Steambeck. And I’d be willing to bet they were all edited non-linearly, or am I just being too literal? I’m really happy to see The Fighter here, but I don’t see how Inception loses this. Editors generally seem to be big fans of action heavy movies and movies that juggle multiple storylines/locations, etc. I wasn’t a big fan of Shutter Island, but that deserves to be here. And 127 Hours missing just seems wrong.