"The Descendants" and "The Artist" won the ACE Eddie Awards for film editing on Saturday night, giving the former film a big boost in the Academy Awards race but perhaps reinforcing the latter's position as the Oscar frontrunner.
"The Descendants" was named Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic), beating the flashier editing of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and "Hugo" to take the category that nearly always produces the Oscar winner. "The Artist" was named Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical), the category that produced the 2002 Oscar winner, "Chicago."
"Rango" continued its sweep of most awards by being named Best Edited Animated Feature Film, while "Freedom Riders" was awarded the prize for Best Edited Documentary.
In the television categories, the winners included "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Breaking Bad," "Homeland" and the HBO movie "Cinema Verite."
The ACE Eddies line up with the Oscars a remarkable percentage of the time. The winners have coincided for the last 10 straight years, a period that includes one tie ("Babel" and "The Departed" split the ACE Eddie, while the latter won the Oscar) and the one year in which the Oscar winner came from the ACE Eddie comedy/musical category rather than the drama category.
Over the last 20 years, the two bodies have disagreed on the winner only twice – and in all but one of those years, it is the ACE Eddie winner for drama that went on to win the Oscar.
This year, though, "The Artist" is such a solid frontrunner in the Oscar race that it may well be in the rare position that "Chicago" was in a decade ago – an ACE Eddie comedy/musical winner that goes on to victory the Oscar.
In non-competitive awards, "The Descendants"' director Alexander Payne was given the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award, while Clint Eastwood's longtime editor Joel Cox and TV veteran Doug Ibold received Lifetime Career Achievement Awards.
The ceremony took place in the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and was hosted by Patton Oswalt – the third awards show the comic actor has hosted this year, after the Annie Awards and the Visual Effects Society Awards.
Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic): "The Descendants"
Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical): "The Artist"
Best Edited Animated Feature Film: "Rango"
Best Edited Half-Hour Series for Television: "Curb Your Enthusiasm: Palestinian Chicken"
Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television: "Breaking Bad: Face Off"
Best Edited One-Hour Series for Non-Commercial Television: "Homeland" (pilot)
Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture for Television: "Cinema Verite"
Best Edited Documentary: "Freedom Riders"
Best Edited Reality Series: "Anthony Bourdain – No Reservations: Haiti"
Student Competition: Eric Kench: "Video Symphony"
ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year: Alexander Payne
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Joel Cox, Doug Ibold