The 2020 group of Best Cinematography nominees are composed of a three-time winner, a three-time nominee, a one-time winner (15-time nominee), and two first-time nominees. It is mostly a respectable group. I can’t say there aren’t others I would like to see represented here, but it’s not a bad group.
Four of the five Oscar nominees for Best Cinematography have received nominations before. Alfonso Cuaron has won two, albeit not for cinematography. Caleb Deschanel has been nominated a whopping six times. The only outlier here is Robbie Ryan, who makes a convincing case for himself in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite.
It is a category stacked to the gills with talent. Somehow, though, I believe it is not that close of a race.
There were a lot of visually appealing films in 2018. Films with a diversity of aesthetic styles. There’s something disorienting in First Man. Something queasy in The Favourite. Something slow and crafty in Roma. Something sumptuous and classical in Cold War. Etcetera. Etcetera.
With that being said, narrowing down the final Oscar shortlist to five is no short order. And with the American Society of Cinematographers not dropping their nominees in this category until January 7, we’re flying a bit blind here. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Best Cinematography is shaping up to be an exciting, if not predictable, category in 2018. A couple of bits of trivia. Roger Deakins, the front-runner, has been nominated for Oscars 14 times in the past and has never won. The man essentially invented the way movies are color graded today, so he kind of deserves the recognition.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the nomination for Rachel Morrison for Mudbound marks the first time in Academy history that a woman has been nominated for Best Cinematography. I remember at some point in my academic career I was given a statistic that the number of employed female DPs in Hollywood only make up about 3% of DPs (don’t quote me on this exact number). It is surprising how the world of cinematographers is still a boy’s club, and thus this nomination for Morrison is a pretty big deal.
So…should we talk winners and losers now?
There are plenty of well-shot movies that come out every year. 2017 was no different, which makes narrowing down just five movies for Best Cinematography an arduous task. But I’m going to do it anyway!
The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) had their annual awards ceremony was held this past Sunday, and Garth Davis’ Lion surprised by winning the feature film award. The film beat out awards season heavy-hitter La La Land, as well as the other fantastically shot films Arrival, Silence, and Moonlight.
In an awards season made boring by La La Land sweeping up wins wherever and whenever possible, this might be the first Continue reading Can Lion Win the Oscar for Best Cinematography?
The fundamental element of a film. Cinematography. What is captured and how it is captured. It’s basic, but some films make you forget that it’s basic. Some films project imagery that seems impossible to capture on camera.
Camera work is a beautiful thing, and the five films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography in 2017 are all visually stunning. Obviously, only one can take home the award. But how obvious are the odds?
Where I find it difficult to compare the merits of screenwriting between films, I think judging the cinematics of a batch of films is somewhat easier. Quality cinematography strikes you in specific and noticeable ways, whereas a good script can sneak up on you. In 2016, we came across a number of visually striking movies. Let’s take a look at which ones will get Oscar nods.
This is one of my personal favorite categories. Cinematography is the infrastructure of the art of cinema. When a film is beautiful you just know. There’s just something about it that strikes you. That’s probably cinematography awing you with miraculous shots.
2015 was no slouch when it came to cinematography. Lush films dominated the year. Every film in this category is beautiful. But, of course, there can be only one.
- American Sniper
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- The Imitation Game
- The Theory of Everything