Oscar predictions: ‘The Revenant’ cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki will win record third in a row

The American Society of Cinematographers awarded Emmanuel Lubezki his third consecutive win for “The Revenant.” Should he repeat at the Oscars, he’ll be the first person in history to win Best Cinematography three years in a row, and will be one away from tying Leon Shamroy and Joseph Ruttenberg for the most overall wins in this category. Shamroy prevailed for “The Black Swan” [1942], “Wilson” [1944], “Leave Her to Heaven” [1945], and “Cleopatra” [1963]. And Ruttenberg was crowned champ for “The Great Waltz” [1938], “Mrs. Miniver” [1942], “Somebody Up There Likes Me” [1956], and “Gigi” [1958].

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Lubezki competes at the Oscars against Ed Lachman (“Carol”), three-time Oscar champ Robert Richardson (“The Hateful Eight”), oen-time winner John Seale (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), and 12-time Oscar also-ran Roger Deakins (“Sicario”).

Let’s take a look at the race to see if there’s anyone who could prevent him from making Oscar history

Emmanuel Lubezki: “The Revenant”
He previously took home the prize for “Gravity” (2013) and “Birdman” (2014), and was nominated for “A Little Princess” (1995), “Sleepy Hollow” (1999), “The New World” (2005), “Children of Men” (2006), and “The Tree of Life” (2011). Lubezki’s use of natural lighting and extended takes is just the sort of complicated camerawork voters love to reward, and after winning his fifth ASC award (in addition to the BAFTA and BFCA) it seems like the Oscars will soon follow suit.

Votes: 25/25 Experts; 7/7 Editors; 21 of Top 24 Users; 90% of all Users

John Seale: “Mad Max: Fury Road”
One person who could unseat Lubezki is this lenser, who came out of semi-retirement to shoot the rollicking action flick “Mad Max: Fury Road.” He won this race for “The English Patient” (1996), and was nominated for “Witness” (1985), “Rain Man (1988), and “Cold Mountain” (2003). With “Mad Max,” the 73-year-old Aussie fills the screen with eye-popping imagery, creating a unique world unseen before on the screen. Should the film sweep the tech categories as our experts are predicting, he could be carried along for the ride. 

Votes: 2 of Top 24 Users; 8% of all Users

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Roger Deakins: “Sicario”
He’s lost this award more times (12) than any other living DP, with unsuccessful bids for “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994), “Fargo” (1996), “Kundun” (1997), “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000), “The Man Who Wasn’t There” (2001), “No Country for Old Men” (2007), “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (2007), “The Reader” (2008), “True Grit” (2010), “Skyfall” (2012), “Prisoners” (2013), and “Unbroken” (2014). Working once again with his “Prisoners” director, Denis Villeneuve, Deakins creates taut suspense through camera movement and framing, not to mention majestic shots of the U.S./Mexico border. 

Votes: 5% of all Users

Ed Lachman: “Carol”
He received his first nomination in this category for Todd Haynes’ 1950s era melodrama “Far From Heaven” (2002), and is back again with a radically different vision of that period for the director’s new film, “Carol.” Lachman uses 16mm to capture a raw, naturalist look reminiscent of street photography that contrasts with the vibrant colors of the costumes and set decorations. The New York Film Critics Circle awarded him for his efforts (as they did with “Far From Heaven”), yet the film didn’t do as well as expected with Oscar voters, and Lachman currently holds fourth place odds of 66/1.

Votes: <1% of all Users

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Robert Richardson: “The Hateful Eight”
With three wins under his belt (for “JFK” (1991), “The Aviator” (2004), and “Hugo” (2011)), it’s safe to say that Richardson knows how to shoot movies that Oscar voters like. The man who previously contended for “Platoon” (1986), “Born on the Fourth of July” (1991), “Snow Falling on Cedars” (1999), “Inglourious Basterds” (2009), and “Django Unchained” (2012) is back in contention with Quentin Tarantino’s western “The Hateful Eight,” which finds him working on the vast canvas of 70mm film. He would be only the third person to win the Oscar — after Freddie Francis (“Glory”) and Guillermo Navarro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) — without a bid from the guild.

Votes: <1% of all Users

Should Lubezki win, he’ll be tied with these three-time champs: rival nominee Richardson; Conrad L. Hall (“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” [1969] “American Beauty” [1999], and “Road to Perdition” [2002]); Arthur C. Miller [“How Green Was My Valley” [1941], “The Song of Bernadette” [1944], and “Anna and the King of Siam” [1946]); Winton C. Hoch (“Joan of Arc” [1948], “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” [1949], and “The Quiet Man” [1952]); Vittorio Storaro (“Apocalypse Now” [1979], “Reds” [1981], and “The Last Emperor” [1987]); Freddie Young (“Lawrence of Arabia” [1962], “Doctor Zhivago” [1965], and “Ryan’s Daughter” [1970]); and Robert Surtees (“King Solomon’s Mines” [1950], “The Bad and the Beautiful” [1952], and “Ben-Hur” [1959]).

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