Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel took the respective top prizes for drama and comedy tonight at the 65th American Cinema Editors Awards. Oscar snubee The Lego Movie continued to rack up awards-season wins, scoring the trophy for Best Edited Animated Feature Film, while Citizenfour added the ACE Eddie to its winning streak for documentary feature.
The ceremony, hosted by 24 actress Mary Lynn Rajskub at the Beverly Hilton, saw Grand Budapest check in with the upset win over Birdman, which was edited to look like it was shot in a single take and came into the ACE Eddies with strong momentum, having won top honors at both the PGAs and the SAG Awards last weekend. The category had the usual five nominees, but this year’s dramatic feature field was notable for a tie that resulted in six nominees — only the second time the American Cinema Editors has had to add a nominee in a category.
Winners on the TV side included three HBO programs — True Detective, Veep and The Normal Heart — along with Sherlock, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. (See the complete list of winners below.)
Matt Damon, Chris Pratt, Richard Linklater, Rene Russo, Dan Gilroy and Jeff Garlin were among tonight’s presenters. Presenting Frank Marshall with the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award, Pratt channeling Andy Dwyer, pretended to have thought he was presenting to Garry Marshall. “F*ck. I had a lot of Laverne And Shirley material. Can we start from the top and edit that out? Wait, a live show for editors? That’s a contradiction.”
Noting Marshall’s prolific work in too many blockbusters to count, Pratt shouted out his favorites seemingly at random. But he singled out Back To The Future as particularly important to him. “Coincidentally, I was in a love triangle with my parents,” he said, “so that movie meant a lot.”
Diane Adler and Jerry Greenberg were feted with Lifetime Career Achievement honors. Carolyn Giardina accepted the Robert Wise Award, which recognizes “a journalist whose writing has contributed significantly in elevating public consciousness to the crucial role of editing in the filmmaking process.” The award has been presented only a few times in the past 15 years.
After the presentation of the Robert Wise Award, Rajskub kicked things off properly with a reminder that she started out in comedy, delivering a conversational tribute to editors that felt like a roast. “I really wanted to host tonight,” she said, “because I feel I really understand editing. People edit my name as they pronounce it. I’d love for John Travolta to try and pronounce it.”
Not all of her jokes landed, but riffs on Ben Affleck’s nudity in Gone Girl, the tremendous length of Boyhood and the relative weirdness of the awards’ name killed. “ACE Eddies sounds like some exotic strain of marijuana. … Forgive me, I’m a middle-aged mother, so I think pot is funny. I mean, forgive me, I’m a middle-aged mother, so I actually smoke a lot of pot. Forgive me, I’m lying, I actually tend toward amphetamines.”
At one point addressing the elephant hanging out in the room since the Oscar noms were announced, she brought up her son. “He told me to tell you guys that if The Lego Movie doesn’t win, he’ll “cut a bitch.”
Of course, sincere tribute was given to the ACE. “I know this is the year of the woman in Hollywood, which is great, but the editors have put women at the forefront for years, and that’s something to be proud of.”
She continued later: “Without the editors, you don’t have clarity in the art. They shoot it, but you nuance, and nuance, and nuance until it’s done. And then the director takes the credit. As members of this important cinematic craft, you should all be proud.”
Robin Leach and Vince Anido presented the award for Best Edited Nonscripted Series, prefaced by Leach continuing the evening’s drunken-roast vibe. “I’d just like to say” — imagine him saying this in your head, it’s that much fun — “that I’ve been known for many things in television, but coming in tonight I’m known for something else. … There’s a moment in The Wolf of Wall Street … I am now known as the guy that Leonardo DiCaprio stopped having sex for. Thank you.”
Hunter Gross, who won for the “Iran” episode of Parts Unknown, gave a touching acceptance speech. “Editing is an amazing thing,” he said, “and I’m constantly stealing, [I mean] paying homage to the work of others.”
Charles Floyd Johnson presented the career award to Adler, and a clip reel reminded that she edited some memorable TVs from the 1970s and early ’80s including The Bill Cosby Show, Kojak, The Rockford Files and Spencer: For Hire.
Carol Littleton presented Greenberg with his career nod. The Oscar-winning editor of The French Connection has a résumé of required viewing spanning decades, but watching his tribute reel tonight, it stuck out that, if editing is the most important part of completing a film, he is one of the most quantifiably influential people in the past 40 years. Not only on film, but given his work on Scarface, the man is partly responsible for an enormous amount of hip-hop.
Greenberg was double Oscar nominee in 1980 for Apocalypse Now and Kramer Vs. Kramer, and his dozens of editing credits also include The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three, The Untouchables, Christmas Vacation, American History X and Get Carter.
The drunken standup show continued when Bob Odenkirk and Skip Macdonald were out to present the Eddie Awards for one-hour series for commercial and non-commercial television. The shtick was simple: Actors versus editors. But given how soused everyone was tonight, it killed. “Montages suck,” Odenkirk said in ending the routine. “Long speeches are better. All montages should be replaced by long monologues.”
Here is the complete list of winners:
Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
Sandra Adair, ACE
Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Edited Animated Feature Film
The Lego Movie
David Burrows & Chris McKay
Best Edited One-Hour Series For Non-Commercial Television
True Detective: “Who Goes There”
Best Edited One-Hour Series For Commercial Television
Sherlock: “His Last Vow”
Best Edited Half-Hour Series For Television
Veep: “Special Relationship”
Best Edited Miniseries or Motion Picture For Television
The Normal Heart
Best Edited Non-Scripted Series
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown: “Iran”
Best Edited Documentary (Feature)
Best Edited Documentary (Television)
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History: Episode 3 / The Fire of Life