Last year, I managed to see all of the best picture nominees. But, to be fair, last year was a good year to do it considering that most of the nominees were PG-13. I really do hope I can do it two years in a row by seeing Django Unchained, but as of now, my plan is to predict some of the categories, then see the movie and express my thoughts on it. With that said, let’s take a look at the nominees for Best Cinematography.
Our first nominee is Anna Karenina, shot by Seamus McGarvey. McGarvey scores his second nomination, his first for Atonement. The camerawork cleverly manages to frame both the cast and the sets, which not all movies know how to do. However, the lack of a Best Picture nominee is a definite setback.
A possible spoiler lies in Django Unchained, shot by Robert Richardson, who already has three Oscars for JFK, The Aviator, and Hugo. Westerns may have a bit of a track record in this category, but I don’t think that Richardson is looking for another award. Django Unchained isn’t even that big of an Oscar contender in the first place, so it’s hard to imagine this movie sweeping.
I believe that the likely winner here is Life Of Pi. The cinematographer is Claudio Miranda, who scores his second nomination here. (The first for The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) Not only is the camerawork my favorite of the bunch, helping to keep us with Pi throughout the story, but it also won the Critic’s Choice and BAFTA awards. The last three visual effects winners all won cinematography, and it looks like we may see a case of history repeating itself.
The next nominee is Lincoln, shot by Janusz Kaminski. Kaminski already has two Oscars under his belt for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. However, both those movies showed off the cinematography a lot more. The camerawork in Lincoln, while good, doesn’t draw attention to itself. Only if the movie sweeps will we see it take cinematography.
And finally, we have Skyfall. Cinematographer Roger Deakins is the kind of person the oscars describe as ‘always a bridesmaid, never a bride.’ He was previously nominated for The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, Kundun, O Brother, Where Art Thou, The Man Who Wasn’t There, No Country For Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, The Reader, and True Grit. And he hasn’t won. And so, even though the camerawork in Skyfall isn’t the best of the year, I think we’ll all silently be rooting for it.
Will Win: Life Of Pi
Runner’s Up: Skyfall
Should Win: Life Of Pi