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Few hints for Oscars in craft awards

No film emerges as a front-runner as guilds hand out their annual prizes. One eyebrow- raiser: a tie for editing.

February 19, 2007|Mark Olsen and Sheigh Crabtree | Special to The Times

Top filmmaker honors presented to editors, cinematographers, production designers, costume designers and sound mixers at annual awards shows around town this weekend presage an Oscar race in which no one movie is poised to sweep the field next Sunday.

In what is likely to be the most discussed ballot return in the crafts precincts, "Babel" and "The Departed" tied for best edited feature film (drama) at Sunday night's America Cinema Editors' Eddie Awards in Beverly Hills.

It was only the second time in the 57-year history of the Eddie Awards that there has been a tie, as prizes went to Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise for "Babel" and Thelma Schoonmaker for "The Departed."

The award for best edited feature film (comedy or musical) went to Virginia Katz for "Dreamgirls." The win was also something of a surprise in that "Dreamgirls," which is not a best picture nominee, won out over "Little Miss Sunshine," a favored Oscar contender for best picture.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday February 27, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Craft awards: An article in the Feb. 19 Calendar section about awards given out by various film and television guilds identified the American Cinema Editors as America Cinema Editors.

The best-edited documentary race proved less eyebrow-raising when the award went to Jay Cassidy and Dan Swietlik for "An Inconvenient Truth," a front-runner in the Oscar documentary category.

Oscar pundits will probably have a field day with these announcements, as there is a commonly held belief that there is a connection between the Academy Awards for editing and best picture.

Of this year's best picture nominees, only "Babel" and "The Departed" are also nominated in the editing category, which has led many to believe that they are the films to watch for Oscar's top prize.

Their tie at the Eddies will be read as further indication that it is indeed a two-horse race heading into the home stretch, with "Little Miss Sunshine," perhaps, moving to the back of the bus.

The cinematographers stood apart from the best picture Oscar race when they narrowed their focus on Emmanuel Lubezki, who won the feature film award for "Children of Men." The honor was bestowed to him at the 21st annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards in Century City on Sunday night.

Lubezki is a first-time ASC winner with a prior nomination in 2000 for "Sleepy Hollow." The director of photography has earned a raft of festival and critical awards, including a BAFTA last weekend, for his virtuoso camera work in director Alfonso Cuaron's dystopian sci-fi thriller, which was not nominated for best picture.

Lubezki's chief competition heading into the Oscar cinematography race, Guillermo Navarro ("Pan's Labyrinth"), was overlooked by ASC in the nomination phase.

Universal Studios President Ron Meyer was due to bestow the ASC Board of Governors Award on director Ron Howard for his extraordinary contributions to the art of filmmaking.

Meanwhile, the Art Directors Guild and the Costume Designers Guild found some unity in their picks for "Curse of the Golden Flower" and "Pan's Labyrinth" when they announced winners Saturday night.

The two guilds parted ways in the contemporary fields when the production designers chose "Casino Royale" while the costume designers crowned "The Queen."

The Art Directors Guild recognized "Curse of the Golden Flower" production designer Huo Tingxiao, who won for period film. "Pan's Labyrinth" production designer Eugenio Caballero won for fantasy film. "Casino Royale" production designer Peter Lamont won for contemporary film.

The Costume Designers Guild honored "Curse of the Golden Flower" costume designer Chung Man Yee for excellence in period film; Lala Huete for fantasy film with "Pan's Labyrinth"; and Consolata Boyle in the contemporary heat for "The Queen."

The winners for the Cinema Audio Society Awards were announced Saturday night in downtown Los Angeles.

"Dreamgirls" took the motion picture prize, with awards going to re-recording mixers Michael Minkler and Bob Beemer and production mixer Willie D. Burton.

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