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ACE Editing: Big Little Lies, Best Picture Hopefuls and More...

by Nathaniel R

The guild nominations are here already? Oh, yup, it's January now. (Funny how the calendar keeps happening even if you're in bed for a week plus with the flu!) Hollywood's editors have spoken and here are the cutting and shaping jobs they loved best this year on screens  big and small. Curiously they have a hodgepodge of category sizes (3,4, or 5 nominees depending) and voting practices. In some categories the final voting for winners happens between January 5th and 18th and in others (within the TV side) there are blue ribbon panel voting situations where the screenings happen on the 14th. This always leaves us wondering what their prizes would be like if they were consistent. Would awards season have more surprises if those voting were forced to watch everything as they are in very few select categories within various organizations... often somewhat randomly? We think it might and wouldn't it be super exciting to try with the consistency and with the mandatory screenings?

One of the most notable things on their TV list is that Big Little Lies has been bumped from competing in miniseries (where it's competed at most every other awards shows) and is competing in regular drama series (where it surely belongs since they've announced a second season with the same characters/actresses).  Nominees in all categories after the jump...



  • Blade Runner 2019 Joe Walker
  • Dunkirk Joe Walker
  • Molly's Game Alam Baumgarten, Josh Schaeffer, and Elliott Graham
  • The Post Michael Kahn & Sarah Broshar
  • The Shape of Water Sidney Wolinksi


The most notable entry here is obviously Molly's Game  as it's the title that isn't constantly in all Oscar conversations. Recency effect? Most Editing? (there are a lot of fast paced instructional montages to explain what's happening onscreen) Or something elses like genuine affection? 



  • Baby Driver, Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss
  • Get Out, Gregory Plotkin
  • I Tonya, Tatiana S Riegel
  • Lady Bird, Nick Huoy
  • Three Billboards, Jon Gregory


It's worth noting that these don't lineup well with the Golden Globes. Yet, Get Out I Tonya and Lady Bird repeat but Three Billboards was considered a "Drama" at the Globes and Baby Driver takes the other spot -- that's surely a worthy editing call (well done ACE) and could even surprise with an Oscar nomination.



  • Coco, Steve Bloom
  • Despicable Me 3, Clair Dodgson
  • Lego Batman Movie, David Burrows, Matt Villa and John Venzon


While we normally despise different sized categories it makes sense that animated features -- of which there are far less -- only have three spots. Why they get a full size Oscar category as long as they have only 16 eligible features is a complete mystery given that live action films have to compete with about 300 pictures for one of their nominations. 



  • Cries from Syria, Aaron J Butler
  • Jane, Joe Beshenkovsky, Will Znidaric, and Brett Morgen
  • Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold Ann Collins
  • LA 92 TJ Martin, Scott Stevenson, Dan Lindsay


But then why do documentaries only get 4 slots -- there are hundreds of documentary films made every year?



  • The Defiant Ones Part 1 Jasse Jarvi & Doug Pray
  • Five Came Back: The Price of Victory Will Znidaric
  • The Nineties: Can We All Get Along Inbal Lessner
  • Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge -01 Ben Sozanski, Geeta Gandbhir, Andy Grieve




  • Black-ish "Lemons" John Peter Bernardo & Jamie Pedroza
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend "Josh's Ex Girlfriend Wants Revenge" Kabir Akhthar & Kyla Piewes
  • Portlandia "Amore" Heather Capps, Ali Greer, and Jordan Kim
  • Will & Grace "Grandpa Jack" Peter Beyt




  • Curb Your Enthusiasm "Fatwa!" Steven Rasch
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm "The Shucker" Jonathan Corn
  • Glow "Pilot" William Turro
  • Veep "Chicklet" Roger Nygard & Gennady Fridman


Despite only having four slots for a category with a truckload of eligible possibilities, Curb Your Enthusiasm hogs 50% of it.



  • Better Call Saul "Chicanery" Skip Macdonald
  • Better Call Saul "Witness" Kelley Dixon & Skip Macdonald
  • Fargo "Aporia" Henk Van Eeghen
  • Fargo "Who Rules the Land of Denial" Andrew Seklir


It's frankly silly, given the size and quality of the televised drama landscape, that only two series are nominated!



  • Big Little Lies "You Get What You Need" David Bergman
  • Game of Thrones "Beyond the Wall" Tim Porter
  • The Handmaid's Tale "Offred" Julian Clarke and Wendy Hallam Martin
  • Stranger Things "The Gate" Kevin D Ross




  • Feud: Bette and Joan "Pilot" Adam Penn & Ken Ramos
  • Genius Einstein "Chapter One" James D Wilcox
  • The Wizard of Lies Ron Patane


Can Feud finally win something without those other bickering ladies in the mix (Big Little Lies being booted to the regular series category)



  • Deadliest Catch "Lost at Sea" Rob Butler & Ben Bulatao
  • Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath "The Perfect Scientology Family" Reggie Spangler, Ben Simoff, Kevin Hibbard, Vince Oresman
  • VICE News Tonight "Charlottesville: Race and Terror" Tim Clancy, Cameron Dennis, John Chimples, Denny Thomas



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Reader Comments (11)

Not only did Curb get 50% of the slots, but Veep got one of the others. 75% Seinfeld!

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

I thought the first 15 minutes of Molly's Game before the title card alone is worth the Oscar for Film Editing! Anyone else see it?

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDAVID

My dream "Big Little Lies" continuation is an annual reshoot of the original script with a different director and a different company of actresses each time.

It would be an interesting experiment to see what different actors and directors bring to the same material, like the revival of a play. Sure, we'd know how it ends, but watching a new creative team find their way to that epic conclusion (new locations, new music, new cars, new aesthetics all around) would be fascinating.

Let's call it a "revival series."

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

"Chicanery" better win!

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Carden

I ma assuming that "non-commercial" has something to do with the distribution of the series, because otherwise I'd certainly have issues with what they categorised where (e.g. I'd say "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" was the least commercial comedy series amongst them all).

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

You assume correctly.

Glad that black-ish keeps popping up here and there.

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterteppo2

"A Ghost Story" and "Good Time" are better edited than any of the films nominated in the Drama line-up. I wish these were more adventurous, but that is always expecting too much!

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I meant to say "mother!" also. That is easily among the greatest editing achievements of the year.

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Three Stooges Outside Wherever has a better edition than Good Time. And it's a Comedy!!
I didn't know!! Fu***ng midgets!!

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

I just think its funny someone being against Animated films having 5 nominees in the Oscars. Utterly ridiculous.

January 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

The editing in Big Little Lies is insanely good. The Greek Chorus, the splintered narrative, the montages, the transitions - I was constantly blown away by how they put the show together.
Here's a video that talks more in-depth about the way editing helps empathise with the characters in Big Little LIes. Check it out!

Editing & Empathy in Big Little Lies

April 1, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMichal Zak

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