Defying predictions including by Deadline’s Pete Hammond, Whiplash nabbed its third Oscar of the evening when editor Tom Cross took home the award for Best Editing. The film bested stiff competition from ACE Eddie Awards winners Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel, as well as American Sniper, and The Imitation Game.
Whiplash is nominated for five Oscars tonight, so far winning every category in which it’s nominated. J.K. Simmons won earlier tonight for Best Supporting Actor, while Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley won for Best Sound mixing. It’s also up for best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.
Cross, humble in accepting his award, thanked stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons for “delivering gold to the cutting room each and every day.” Backstage, Cross said that Whiplash director Damien Chazelle wanted the music rehearsal and performance scenes to be like “boxing scenes from Raging Bull.” He added that Chazelle always saw the film as an “editor’s showcase” with suspense, tension and manic energy. But, Cross added, the director asked for a much different pace in personal scenes. The contrast, he said, is the key to the movie’s brilliance. He also confessed that he and Chazelle dreamed of making a movie that would give due recognition to J.K. Simmons. The success of the film, he said, has been “an out-of-body experience.”
Only recently making the jump from assistant editor to lead, Cross’ previous credits include The Space Between, Any Day Now and Time Lapse. His work will next be seen in The Driftless Area and La La Land. This was his first Academy Award nomination.