First Academy Award for editor Lee Smith

05 March, 2018 by Don Groves

(L-R) Josh Lawson, Australian Consul-General in Los Angeles Chelsey Martin, Derin Seale, Lee Smith and chair of Australians in Film Simonne Overend (Photo credit: Courtney McAllister|Mac1 photography) .

Editor Lee Smith today won the Oscar for Dunkirk, his third nomination, at the 90th Academy Awards.

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“This is the most awesome thing that can happen to a guy like me,” Smith said on accepting the award from actor Martin McConaughey.

Describing the WW2 drama as “truly the most amazing film,” he thanked the director/producer/writer Christopher Nolan and Nolan’s wife, producer Emma Thomas.

It was Smith’s third nomination following Nolan’s The Dark Knight in 2008 and Peter Weir’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003).

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said: “Lee’s international career is a credit to his talent and hard work and continues an incredible track record for Australian editors at the Academy Awards.”

Previous winners in that category include Margaret Sixel for Mad Max: Fury Road and Kirk Baxter twice, for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network, both shared with Angus Wall.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg and Todd McCarthy were among many pundits who predicted Smith’s win, stating: “Dunkirk, a war film that is nominated for best picture, not only is packed with fast-paced battle scenes, but also jumps between three different storylines in a coherent and effective manner; it won the best edited dramatic feature American Cinema Editors’ top prize, which has predicted this Oscar in 10 of the last 15 years.”

Aussie editor Paul Machliss was nominated for Baby Driver.

Margot Robbie was up for best lead actress for I, Tonya but the Oscar went to the hot favourite, Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

McDormand asked every female nominee in every category to stand up, triggering huge applause.

Robbie presented the award for best adapted screenplay to James Ivory for Call Me By Your Name.

Derin Seale and Josh Lawson were nominated for their live-action short The Eleven O’Clock, which they produced with Karen Bryson.

That award went to UK director Chris Overton’s The Silent Child, the saga of a profoundly deaf four-year-old girl who lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication.

Directed by Seale and written by and starring Lawson, Damon Herriman, Alyssa McClelland and Eliza Logan, The Eleven O’Clock will premiere at 9.30 tonight on ABC Comedy and on iview. The film follows a delusional patient of a psychiatrist who believes he is actually the psychiatrist.

As widely predicted, Gary Oldman was named best lead actor for Darkest Hour, Sam Rockwell took home best supporting actor for Three Billboards and Allison Janney was judged best supporting actress for I, Tonya.

Out of its 13 nominations The Shape of Water won best picture, best director for Guillermo del Toro and the gongs for production design and best original score.

After 14 nominations DOP Roger Deakins finally won an Oscar for Blade Runner 2049. Chile’s A Fantastic Woman was voted best foreign language pic.

Del Toro dedicated his best film award to young filmmakers around the world, declaring: “This is a door, kick it open and come in.”

For a complete list of winners go here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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