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With their awards rather needlessly spread across drama and musical/comedy categories -- the craft is hardly incomparable between genres, particularly when certain titles aren't even categorized correctly -- the ACE Eddie Award nominations for film editing are more revealing in terms of omissions than inclusions.
And if it seemed like "The Help" was starting to build some momentum in this race, it received something of a setback today by missing the list. Though hardly an outstanding editing showcase, it might still have hoped to crack a drama category that did find room for "The Descendants" -- not heavily favored for below-the-line Oscar attention -- and the embattled "War Horse."
Michael Kahn's nomination here represents something of a lifeline for the WWI epic in the wake of snubs from the directors', writers', cinematographers' and even art directors' Guilds. Whether it's an indication of enough enduring support for "War Horse" to make Oscar's Best Picture lineup remains to be seen, but if it had missed here, it truly would have been time to read the last rites. It's one of two nominations for four-time ACE champ Kahn -- Steven Spielberg's long-serving collaborator was also listed for "The Adventures of Tintin" in the animated field, where he could well snag another trophy.
Speaking of veteran director-editor pairings, another four-time ACE winner, Thelma Schoonmaker, notched up her seventh nomination for a Martin Scorsese film this morning. Could she score a fifth win? I think so -- only last year's winners Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, nominated for surprise Guild juggernaut "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," seem to pose any kind of obstacle.
Oscar frontrunner "The Artist," meanwhile, has a clear path to victory in the comedy/musical category --where they were evidently so short of ideas that, like the Golden Globes, they resorted to pretending "My Week With Marilyn" is actually funny to round out the field.
I'm not sure why I hadn't realized until now that "The Artist" writer-director Michel Hazanavicius is also one of the film's editors, setting him to receive three Oscar nominations next week. Should he win in all three of those categories -- a distinct possibility -- I'm pretty sure that'd be a first.
The full list of nominees in the film categories is as follows:
Best Edited Feature Film (Drama):
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Best Edited Feature Film (Musical/Comedy):
"Midnight in Paris"
"My Week With Marilyn"
Best Edited Animated Feature Film:
"The Adventures of Tintin"
"Puss in Boots"
Remember to keep track of the ups and downs of the 2011-2012 film awards season via The Circuit.
For more views on movies, awards season and other pursuits, follow @GuyLodge on Twitter.
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