Paul Greengrass’ “Captain Phillips” hasn’t missed a beat since that pair of surprise Oscar misses in the Best Director and Best Actor categories a few weeks back. The film pulled out a Best Adapted Screenplay WGA win last weekend and Friday night it routed fellow Best Picture nominees “Gravity,” “Her” and “12 Years a Slave” to win the ACE Eddie Award for dramatic feature film editing. “American Hustle,” meanwhile, bested “Nebraska” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” to claim the comedy/musical prize.
Both of these I frankly saw coming. The organization has a ton of respect for editor Christopher Rouse (who won this award in 2008 en route to an Oscar for “The Bourne Ultimatum”) and I don’t think it’s a signal of weakness on “Gravity’s” part, especially as it pertains to the Oscars, where it could still easily win this award. When I think of “Captain Phillips,” I think of an expert assemblage of footage. “Gravity,” on the other hand – though still a post-production marvel – is a collection of long, extended takes. It’s not difficult to imagine a group of editors would be more inclined to honor something accomplished on a more traditional spectrum.
Nevertheless, I’ve been saying for a few weeks now that the key to this year’s Best Picture Oscar race may yet lie in the envelope for Best Film Editing on the night of March 2. If the winner is indeed “Gravity,” I think we have our Best Picture answer. Ditto “12 Years a Slave.” If it’s anything else (and I think “Captain Phillips” is far more likely than “American Hustle”), then it will probably be a nail-biter until the final envelope is opened. But I’m happy for Rouse, whose work is amazing on this film, a film that took an unfortunate bump on Jan. 16 but keeps on keeping on.
Elsewhere, “Frozen” and “20 Feet from Stardom” won the animated and documentary prizes. Both are pretty well set up for big wins at the Oscars. “The Office,” “Breaking Bad” (which had to win, given it accounted for four of five nominations in its category) and “Homeland” won top TV honors, while Steven Soderbergh – under his “Mary Ann Bernard” pseudonym – won in the TV miniseries or motion picture field for “Behind the Candelabra.”
Oh, and a great night for “Captain Phillips” didn’t stop with the top prize. Greengrass received the organization’s Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year prize, too, presented by fellow Oscar outcast Tom Hanks.
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.