The last three Oscars for Best Cinematography went to Emmanuel Lubezki in an unprecedented three-peat (“Gravity” in 2014, “Birdman” in 2015, “The Revenant” in 2016), but the 2017 race is unusual in that none of our predicted nominees have won before — four of them have never even been nominated. So who will make the cut in this race when the final contenders are announced on Tuesday, January 24?
These official racetrack odds below are derived from the predictions of Expert film journalists along with the Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who got the top scores predicting last year’s Oscar nominations, the All-Star Top 24 who got the top scores when you combine the last two years’ nominations and the thousands of Users who make up the largest (and often savviest) bloc of predictors.
The Experts strongly favor Linus Sandgren (“La La Land”) for the win, with 20 out of 26 backing him: Thelma Adams (Gold Derby), Erik Davis (Fandango), Edward Douglas (Weekend Warrior), Joyce Eng (TV Guide), Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Tariq Khan (Fox News), Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) Jack Mathews (Gold Derby), Michael Musto (Out.com), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo), Christopher Rosen (Entertainment Weekly), Keith Simanton (IMDB), Sasha Stone (Awards Daily), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Brian Truitt (USA Today), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere), Glenn Whipp (LA Times) and Susan Wloszczyna (RogerEbert.com). It would be the first nomination and first win for Sandgren, who previously lensed films like “American Hustle” (2013) and “Joy” (2015).
The remaining six Experts are divided three ways. Three of them predict an upset victory by Rodrigo Prieto (“Silence”): Tim Gray (Variety), Nicole Sperling (Entertainment Weekly) and Adnan Virk (ESPN). Prieto was nominated for Oscar once before, for “Brokeback Mountain” (2005).
Two others say the winner will be Bradford Young (“Arrival”): Matt Atchity (Rotten Tomatoes) and Anne Thompson (IndieWire). It would be the first nomination and win for Young, who previously photographed films including “A Most Violent Year” (2014) and “Selma” (2014).
Gold Derby’s own Paul Sheehan is the sole Expert predicting a victory by James Laxton (“Moonlight”), who would also be an Oscars first-timer. His previous credits include “Medicine for Melancholy” (2008), “Camp X-Ray” (2014) and “Tusk” (2014).
Meanwhile, our Editors are nearly unanimous. Six out of seven of us agree that “La La Land” is out front — Chris Beachum, Marcus James Dixon, Rob Licuria, Matt Noble, Tom O’Neil and myself — while Paul Sheehan bets on “Moonlight.”
The Top 24 Users strongly favor “La La Land” as well, with 19 of those elite predictors giving it best odds, including JasonOsia, who had the highest accuracy predicting last year’s Oscar nominations (83%). One top user picks “Silence” instead, while one more is going out on a limb for “Jackie” (photographed by Stephane Fontaine).
Our All-Star users are even more strongly in favor of “La La Land” as the Cinematography frontrunner. Twenty-two of them are betting on it to prevail, while one forecasts an upset for “Silence.”
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how this film is faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 24 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.