ACE drama: Tie results in three winners

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A surprise turn of events swept the 57th annual American Cinema Editors' Eddie Awards. Not two but three films were deemed best edited because of a tie in the feature film drama category, which resulted in two winners instead of one.

Paramount Vantage's "Babel" and Warner Bros. Pictures' "The Departed" tied for the top drama honor, while Paramount Pictures' "Dreamgirls," from DreamWorks, took home the prize for best edited feature film, comedy or musical.

The awards ceremony took place Sunday evening at the Beverly Hilton.

It was only the second tie in the history of the awards, the other occurring in 1989, when "Rain Man" tied with "Mississippi Burning."

As they accepted their award, "Babel" editors Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise, both first-time Eddie winners, thanked the filmmakers who helped bring "Babel" to fruition along with the film's cast. They singled out director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

"Thank you for sharing your heart with us so generously. You inspired us so much," Mirrione said.

"Departed" editor Thelma Schoonmaker added a fourth Eddie to her collection; she was awarded the same honor most recently in 2005 for "The Aviator." Schoonmaker expressed gratitude to director Martin Scorsese for making the film so "uncompromising, so politically incorrect, and so moving."

Virginia Katz, who snagged her first Eddie for "Dreamgirls," drew in a deep breath of disbelief before thanking director Bill Condon and ACE. "I loved the movie, I loved working on it, and I couldn't ask for anything more," she said.

Par Vantage's "An Inconvenient Truth," edited by Jay Cassidy and Dan Sweitlik, took best edited documentary honors during the ceremony, presided over by ACE president Alan Heim.

Host Julia Sweeney set the tone for the evening by comparing middle-aged comedians like herself to editors — both are overlooked and neglected, she said.

"We are here tonight to honor a group whose contributions to film are as enormous as they are underappreciated. I'm speaking of course of screenwriters. Oh, I'm so sorry, I meant cinematographers," she joked, but added that editors were the "true heroes."

Daryl Hannah presented the ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker Award to Quentin Tarantino. She dubbed him a "computer brain" for being able to remember every line from any film and remembering every extra "even if they were lying face-down in the gutter." Hannah also praised Tarantino and editor Sally Menke for "creating a new music, a new language for film."

"I've got an Eddie! How cool is that?" Tarantino said. Between jokes, he dedicated the award to Menke.

Lifetime Career Achievement honors were awarded to senior motion picture editors John Soh and Frank Urioste. Alex Lamb of Chapman University took the prize in the Student Editing Competition.

Other ACE winners of the night included Dean Holland and David Rogers for the "Casino Night" episode of "The Office," for best edited half-hour series for television; Conrad Gonzalez, Keith Henderson and Stephen Michael for the "Friday Night Lights" pilot, for best edited one-hour series of commercial television; Kate Sanford for "The Wire" episode "Boys of Summer," for best edited one-hour series of noncommercial television; Trevor Waite for "Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act, Part 1," for best edited miniseries or motion picture for noncommercial television; and Geoffrey Rowland, Eric Sears, Bryan Horne, David Handman and Mitchell Danton for "The Path to 9/11, Part 2," for best edited miniseries or motion picture for commercial television.
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