ASC nominees

Posted by · 8:58 am · January 7th, 2009

Ralph Fiennes in The ReaderThe American Society of Cinematographers have announced their annual list of nominees, which are:

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Claudio Miranda)
“The Dark Knight” (Wally Pfister)
“The Reader” (Roger Deakins and Chris Menges)
“Revolutionary Road” (Roger Deakins)
“Slumdog Millionaire” (Anthony Dod Mantle)

I’m pleasantly surprised by the “Reader” inclusion.  Though I didn’t care for the film, one of the first things I noted was the sublime photography.  This could carry over to Oscar, but I must say I’m somewhat surprised Eduardo Serra’s beautiful work in “Defiance” was excluded.  Harris Savides, meanwhile, continues to come up short with his peers despite being the best in the game (and many of his peers would say the same thing, which makes it all the more baffling).  And the “Australia” snub is hardly surprising since Mandy Walker’s work never reached the level many anticipated.

But all this brings me to a question I’ve had racing through my head for some time now: could Claudio Miranda be the one of this lot snubbed of an Oscar nod?  The Academy has shown a bias against digital photography where the guild hasn’t.  “Apocalypto” and “Collateral,” you’ll recall, failed to translate their ASC nomiantions into AMPAS love, so it’s certainly something to consider.

WGA on the way…

→ 10 Comments Tags: , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

10 responses so far

  • 1 1-07-2009 at 9:12 am

    Mr. Harmonica said...

    I’m almost surprised by the lack of Australia, as I thought Cinematography would be the only real chance at this point, but when you really look at it, there’s nothing to the cinematography in that film, nothing really creative or with a beautiful touch.

    And that’s what counts in this category, just pointing and shooting something that’s already beautiful like the Australian countryside is fine, but inferior to a cinematographer making something special on their own, making the audience see something in a new light.

    As far as actual shots are concerned, I know a lot of people shit on it and call it obvious, but the right side up hanging Joker at the end of The Dark Knight is one of the best shots of the year.

    I wanted to see The Fall get some recognition here, but at this point it looks like it’s going to go completely under the Oscar radar. It’s a shame given that had the studio nurtured the film a little bit and given it a better release date with more press, it would have rightfully sweeped the technical categories.

  • 2 1-07-2009 at 9:13 am

    ganonlink91 said...

    when was the last time the oscars nominated two cinematographers for the same film? they have the same bias in this category as they do in score, i doubt the reader will get nominated

  • 3 1-07-2009 at 9:17 am

    Jamieson said...

    It’s downright insane that Savides’ work in Milk was overlooked.

  • 4 1-07-2009 at 9:22 am

    actionman said...

    Savides is a genius; he’ll get his day soon enough.

    It’s a fucking crime that The Fall wasn’t nominated.

    All of the picks are solid, and while I thought The Reader was indeed beautiful (if unshowy), The Fall should have been up there in its place.

    Still, the more love given to Deakins the better. The fact that he’s yet to win an Oscar almost makes me want to puke.

  • 5 1-07-2009 at 9:56 am

    Speaking English said...

    Where THE FUCK is “Australia?” Worst snub of any guild so far. What a gorgeous, stunning film, certainly should have replaced “The Reader” here. Only second to “Benjamin Button” for me.

    I think it’ll make the Oscars, though. It better.

  • 6 1-07-2009 at 10:15 am

    Dean Treadway said...

    I, of course, second that motion about THE FALL. I don’t know what kind of Oscar campaign this film got, if one at all. I will be overjoyed and consider it an immense victory if the film gets even one nomination. But to see Colin Watkinson’s brilliant work is to know, truly, what the best photography of the year is. The fact THE FALL is being so ignored actually makes me question my own interest in awards and such. They’re obviously a tremendous waste of everyone’s time if they can’t get this one simple thing right: obviously, THE FALL is the year’s most opulent, beautiful, creative, and touching movie. If one disagrees, I can only conclude that one hasn’t really seen the film.

  • 7 1-07-2009 at 10:20 am

    Dean Treadway said...

    By the way, in response to the guy who wanted to know about two cinematographers being nommed for the same film. Ghislan Cloquet and Geoffrey Unsworth won in 1980 for photographing Roman Polanski’s TESS, and in 1975, Haskell Wexler and Bill Butler were nominated for ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST. It’s not unheard of. It’s interesting that Deakins may become the only cinematographer to be nominated for 2 films 2 years in a row. Isn’t it time to give this man his due?

  • 8 1-07-2009 at 11:00 am

    Average Joe said...

    I think Benjamin Button will break through the digital bias that has been shown at the Oscars. It’s a lot more “classically pretty” than collateral or apocalypto. The Reader deserves the nomination for the concentration camp scene alone; what a hauntingly beautiful look that had.

  • 9 1-07-2009 at 11:04 am

    actionman said...

    Here-here, Dean. Right on the money you are.

    The concentration camp stuff in The Reader was chilling, both visually and thematically (of course).

    Australia looked pretty but it suffered from too much cheesy digital tampering in post.