The cinematography of ‘True Grit’

Posted by · 5:20 pm · January 31st, 2011

There has been a lingering possibility, I think, of Danny Cohen riding the frontrunner wave to a win for his working shooting “The King’s Speech” lately.  It’s possible “Inception” is lurking as a spoiler, but I think the race will come down to those two films.  And as much as I find myself in the “pro” camp regarding his lensing of that film, I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m ready to see Roger Deakins holding an Oscar, by God.

I spoke with the “True Grit” cinematographer last month about his approach to the Coen brothers’ western, which differs strikingly from the visual identity of their other collaborations but nevertheless has that Deakins flavor.  More on that in the upcoming Oscar Guide to the Best Cinematography category.

Paramount has released another featurette on the film’s below-the-line work, this time focused on Deakins’s contribution. It’s a brief but rather enlightening look at his approach. Take a look after the jump.

[Photo: Paramount Pictures]

→ 13 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

13 responses so far

  • 1 1-31-2011 at 5:24 pm

    Ganonlink said...

    Hey Kris are you going to do the best shots of the year article this year?

  • 2 1-31-2011 at 5:27 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 3 1-31-2011 at 5:47 pm

    Graysmith said...

    You’d think True Grit ought to get at least one “consolation” Oscar. Ten nominations, and not a single win seems pretty harsh for such a well-loved film (and a huge success to boot). Only three films have had 10 or more nominations and gone home empty-handed (The Turning Point, The Color Purple and The Gangs of New York) too.

    Personally, I imagine it’ll be between True Grit and The King’s Speech. Deakins vs. The Sweep. Inception could win it too, but it missing out on several expected nominations just sets of bells in my head that it’s not that popular, and since it’s already likely to get votes in other categories it’s not like it needs any pity, whereas I can’t imagine many in the Academy not being well aware of Deakins’ lack of Oscar.

  • 4 1-31-2011 at 5:50 pm

    N8 said...

    I warned you about jinxing him when you predicted a win back in December. If Deakins loses this, I’m holding YOU personally responsible! ;)

  • 5 1-31-2011 at 6:04 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    Deakins totally deserves it. What about the fact of their preferences, e.g. the postcard thing?

  • 6 1-31-2011 at 6:14 pm

    DRM said...

    I’ll be disappointed if he loses to The King’s Speech. True Grit is top notch cinematography even if it’s not as incredible as Jesse James.

  • 7 1-31-2011 at 6:16 pm

    kel said...

    I understand that the Academy wants TKS to sweep, but it’d be a darn shame for TRUE GRIT to come all this way and win nothing. Atonement, Babel and Finding Neverland won an award (all won score), so why can’t this film too?

  • 8 1-31-2011 at 8:56 pm

    Andy Kahn said...

    Give this man an Oscar already!!

  • 9 1-31-2011 at 9:02 pm

    Ben M. said...

    I think True Grit is liked enough that it will win at least one oscar. Cinematography is the obvious answer, but if there is a surprise there while most are predicting Inception to win both sound awards, my gut is they will split them up and give Inception editing and True Grit mixing (sorta like the Slumdog/Dark Knight split).

  • 10 1-31-2011 at 9:44 pm

    americanrequeim said...

    please dont say a cinematography loss for deakins and a win for tks. please. i like the tks, but thats too far

  • 11 1-31-2011 at 10:51 pm

    Derek 8-Track said...

    I’m so torn, day to day I flip back and forth between True Grit and The King’s Speech for Cinematography.

  • 12 2-01-2011 at 5:29 am

    julian said...

    Deakins will win IF the TKS bandwagon is not steamrolling its way to a major sweep. IF the TKS sweep will occur it could very well nag cinematography, supp actor, supp actress, original screenplay and maybe even editing (even though it is obviously inferior to the editing in TSN!). If TKS only nags the obvious big wins (film, director and male actor) cinematography should go to Deakins for two reasons: he is way overdue AND as a consolation prize on behalf of TG.

  • 13 2-01-2011 at 9:30 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I can’t imagine many in the Academy not being well aware of Deakins’ lack of Oscar.

    You’d be surprised.