Unlike last year, Monday's American Cinema Editors nominations for drama do not mirror those films chosen by the Directors Guild of America, but they are all in in the running with the Producers Guild of America. As every Oscarologist knows, the winner of the Golden Eddie has been one of the best indicators of which film takes home the best picture at the Academy Awards. Whether this will hold true with an expanded field and preferential voting remains to be seen.
The ACE nominees for drama are: "Avatar," "District 9," "The Hurt Locker," "Star Trek" and "Up in the Air."
The ACE nominees for comedy or musical are: "(500) Days of Summer," "The Hangover," "It's Complicated," "Julie & Julia" and "A Serious Man."
And the ACE nominees in the new category of animated feature are: "Coraline," "Fantastic Mr. Fox" and "Up."
The missing DGA nominees are "Inglourious Basterds" and "Precious," which are also PGA contenders. Sally Menke -- editor of "Inglourious Basterds" -- did earn ACE nods for two other Quentin Tarantino films -- "Pulp Fiction" and "Kill Bill Vol. 2." "Precious" cutter Joe Klotz is not up for any major awards.
The other PGA nominees that failed to make the cut with the editors are "An Education" -- edited by Brit Barney Pilling, who has two BAFTA TV nods -- and "Invictus," which was cut by three-time ACE nominee and Oscar winner Joel Cox ("Million Dollar Baby") and one-time BAFTA nominee Gary Roach.
Since 1990, the film that came up with the ACE went on to win best picture 13 times. In three of the five years when the ACE barometer was wrong, the editing winner was at least a contender for best picture. The exceptions — in 2007 when neither "The Bourne Ultimatum" nor "Sweeney Todd" made the final five at the Oscars and 1999 when the same fate befell "The Matrix" and "Being John Malkovich."
Though ACE has a good track record as a best picture predictor and a great one for forecasting who will win the editing Oscar (16 out of 18 years), it is surprising that it is not all knowing when it comes to the editing Oscar nominations. Since 1992, when the Eddies went to five nominees from three, 75 of the 90 Oscar nominees for editing had first gotten a Golden Eddie nod. Last year, all five ACE drama nominees competed at the Oscars.
Although this track record appeared impressive enough, ACE doubled its chances of getting it right when it split dramas and comedy/musicals into separate kudos in 1999. Last year, the comedy/musical Eddie went to Stephen Schaffer for "Wall-E." Schaffer — a 2004 nominee for "The Incredibles" — made history with this win as it was the first time an animated film had taken one of these kudos since they were first handed out 60 years ago.
For the full list of nominees visit the ACE website.
Photo: American Cinema Editors award. Credit: ACE