Oscar History

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Jan 11 2017

Cinematography Prizes: ASC and Oscar

The American Society of Cinematographers recently added an very welcome category called "Spotlight"in which they note the work of DPs working in films with either very limited releases or festival only entries.It's a smart way to draw attention to work that might otherwise go unnoticed.In this new category they've nominated Lol Crawley forChildhood of a Leader(which we recently discussed),Gorka Gomez Andreu's work onthe Georgian Oscar submissionHouse of Others,Ernesto Pardo for the Mexican filmTempestad,and Juliette van Dormael's lensing of the Belgian filmMon Ange (My Angel).Why there are only 4 honorees and not the traditional 5 we do not know.

But the marquee category is of course Theatrical Motion Pictures.And here's the beauties they most loved looking at this year...

Bradford Young forArrival
1st ASC nomination.Also his first BAFTA nomination.One previous Spirit nomination forSelma.Other key credits:A Most Violent Year,Pariah,Ain't Them Bodies Saints

Grieg Fraser forLion
1st ASC nomination.Also his first BAFTA nomination.Previously won the NYFCC prize forZero Dark Thirty.(He arguably should've won the Oscar a long time ago for Jane Campion'sBright Star(2009) but that film was roundly ignored by awards bodies.)

James Laxton forMoonlight
1st ASC nomination.Two spirit nominations forMedicine for MelancholyandMoonlight.Recently won the critical trinity (NY,LA,NSFC) for this very film.I believe he's the youngest of the cinematographers listed here.His debut feature wasMedicine for Melancholy(2008).

Rodrigo Prieto forSilence
3rd ASC nomination.Two previous BAFTA nominations.Previously nominated for 1 Oscar forBrokeback Mountain.Other key credits:Babel,Lust Caution,8 Mile,Frida,Passengers,Argo,The Homesman,Wolf of Wall Street

Linus Sandgren forLa La Land
1st ASC nomination.Also his first BAFTA nomination.Other key credits:American Hustle,Joy,and the upcomingBattle of the Sexesalso starring Emma Stone.

You'll immediately notice that apart from Prieto this is quite a young DP field.We MIGHT have an all fresh blood Oscar list this year behind the camera.Not that the ASC and Oscar agree wholeheartedly in any given year.Here's how it's gone in the past ten rounds.Oscar usually replaces one of ASC's choices in their nominations.So if they do who are the most likely recipients of that switcheroo?Well,Oscar LOVES Robert Richardson (Live by Night) and Roger Deakins (Hail Caesar) so you can never totally count either of them out.The Academy also really likes Harry Potter movies so former Oscar winner Philippe Rousselot could be a surprise forFantastic Beasts.There's also the very outside possibility they'll latch on to a foreign or indie title (The Handmaiden?American Honey?) or the under-honoredJackieor the over-honored but buzzingNocturnal Animals.

2015 Oscar's Lineup was 4/5 rejecting ASC choiceBridge of Spiesin favor ofThe Hateful Eight
2014 Oscar's lineup was  4/5 rejecting ASC choiceImitation Gamein favor of Poland'sIda
2013 Oscar's lineup was 5/5...but the ASC had 7 nominees that year so matching was easy-peasy
2012 Oscar's lineup was 4/5 rejecting ASC choiceLes Miserablesin favor ofDjango Unchained
2011 Oscar's lineup was 4/5 rejecting ASC choiceTinker Tailor Soldier SpyforWar Horse
2010 Oscar's lineup was 5/5 match
2009 Oscar's lineup was 4/5 rejecting ASC choiceNineforHarry Potter #somethingorother
2008 Oscar's lineup was 4/5 rejecting ASC choiceRevolutionary RoadforChangeling
2007 Oscar's lineup was 5/5 match
2006 Oscar's lineup was 3/5 match rejecting ASC choicesApocalyptoandThe Good ShepherdforThe PrestigeandPan's Labyrinth

Who would you be voting for this year?

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Reader Comments (12)

I feel all five of these would make a great DP line-up.If one of them had to get the boot,I could see Greig Fraser moving over for Nocturnal Animals,if they REALLY feeling that movie.

January 11,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

I wanna vote for Bradford because he's young gifted (fine) and black.But Moonlight deserves it out of the listed contenders.

January 11,2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

This is unrelated,but...


January 11,2017 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Lol Crawley also did terrific work on "The OA."He's definitely an up-and-comer.

January 11,2017 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I know it's kind of a long shot for an Oscar nomination,but Simon Duggan for "Hacksaw Ridge".Magnificent work.Very deserving.

January 11,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I'll just keep saying it: It's such a shame that The Love Witch isn't sweeping.

January 11,2017 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Mostly very good picks,although I can't understand the love for "Arrival"cinematography.Maybe it was just my theater,but that thing was so dimly lit and drab-looking.

My favorite cinematography of the year is "American Honey."Would have liked "Jackie"to be here,too.

January 11,2017 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

This seems like a fairly safe bet for the Oscar list although instinct tells me they'll drop Greig Fraser (Lion) for either Giles Nuttgens (Hell or High Water) or Seamus McGarvey (Nocturnal Animals).It's a shame because Fraser was so worthy of a nomination for both Bright Star and Zero Dark Thirty.

My personal favorite cinematographer of the year is Robbie Ryan.He did some tremendous work on American Honey that suited the aesthetic and tone of the film perfectly.Unfortunately,he's probably some years away from a crossover.I'm just happy to see Bradford Young finally get his due.

January 11,2017 | Unregistered CommenterW.J.

Arrival is totally a lock
Silence,which cinematography seems to be the strongest element
La La Land,duh
Moonlight,mainly because of the best picture buzz
And Jackie!

January 12,2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

It's not my favourite work of Bradford Young's,but I see him making it in.In fact I could easily see this transfering over 5 for 5.I thought JACKIE may show up here considering they sometimes tend to have an arty title like IDA,but,yeah,it'll probably be McGarvey for Fraser at this point.Even Scorsese's less popular movies get a nomination or two if they're prestige and period.

January 12,2017 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Fraser should really have been nominated for Foxcatcher as well.I know the film is divisive,but it had my favorite cinematography of that year.

January 12,2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Glad to see Young and Fraser here and I hope they get nominated.Ain't Them Bodies Saint and Bright Star looked stunning.

January 12,2017 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

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