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Best Cinematography: Is This Really Roger Deakins's Year?

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  • SN
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    #1202493113

    I don’t think it’s out of the question that Rachel Morrison could win ASC and then the Oscar. Why would they stop at just nominating a woman for the first time? This is the year in which “happy just to be nominated” isn’t enough.

    The cinematography in Mudbound was VERY understated, completely the opposite of BR2049, Dunkirk, Darkest Hour and TSOW. It would also be a very transparent, political move that would cause a lot of backlash.

    I don’t think it was understated at all. I find some showy cinematography moments in the film.

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    Atypical
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    #1202493171

    I don’t think it’s out of the question that Rachel Morrison could win ASC and then the Oscar. Why would they stop at just nominating a woman for the first time? This is the year in which “happy just to be nominated” isn’t enough.

    The cinematography in Mudbound was VERY understated, completely the opposite of BR2049, Dunkirk, Darkest Hour and TSOW. It would also be a very transparent, political move that would cause a lot of backlash.

    So 0% of Academy voters can think Morrison was the best of the five nominees? Her field voted her in, which was unprecedented, and the ballot only has the film names, not the nominees. Everyone’s going to get votes, and many would applaud her pulling off this feat in this new political climate. The only issue really is if the Deakins drought gets full media coverage by voting, and if the sentiment is with him or not. If it is and he loses, then whoever wins might be in big trouble. If it’s a nonissue and any winner is fine, then why not Morrison?

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    pulp50
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    #1202493239

    Rachel Morrison has no chance to win, get the fuck out of here with that shit.

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    Teridax
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    #1202493327

    Rachel Morrison has no chance to win, get the fuck out of here with that shit.

    If she pulls off an upset at ASC then she has a chance at the Oscars. If she loses ASC (which I believe she will) then she has zero chance at winning the Oscar. The only Cinematography nominee at the Oscars that truly has no chance of winning as of right now is Darkest Hour.

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    pulp50
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    #1202493330

    She has no chance to win ASC either. If something upsets Blade Runner it would be Dunkirk or TSOW.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202493363

    If she pulls off an upset at ASC then she has a chance at the Oscars. If she loses ASC (which I believe she will) then she has zero chance at winning the Oscar.

    This is pretty absurd and hysterical even for you. What do you think has a better chance of embracing a narrative that doesn’t really have a lot do with the craft: other cinematographers or the whole of the Academy??

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    Teridax
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    #1202493391

    If she pulls off an upset at ASC then she has a chance at the Oscars. If she loses ASC (which I believe she will) then she has zero chance at winning the Oscar.

    This is pretty absurd and hysterical even for you. What do you think has a better chance of embracing a narrative that doesn’t really have a lot do with the craft: other cinematographers or the whole of the Academy??

    How am I being “absurd and hysterical?” No need to be rude. Morrison’s cinematography was extremely well done. Was it better than BR2049? I don’t think so at all! However, it would be an undeniably believable and great winner on merit, if not in my opinion the best of the year.

    I’m just being reasonable and rational here in regards to Morrison’s Oscar chances. We are in the “year of the woman,” plus if you actually watched Mudbound you would see the Cinematography was one of its most notable aspects. Deakins may have won ASC 3 times but there have been times he should have won like True Grit and No Country For Old Men that he wasn’t able to in spite of winning for those films at Bafta.

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    GusCruz
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    #1202493403

    Nothing you said explains why losing at ASC would means the end of her Oscar chances. That’s my disagreement: she’s the dark horse either way, but she can lose at ASC and still pull it off at the Oscars.

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    Teridax
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    #1202493405

    @gustavocruzesilva ASC is Rachel Morrison’s last shot for any kind of momentum since she and Mudbound in general got snubbed entirely at Bafta. If she wins ASC it gives her momentum over BP Oscar nominees and realistic frontrunners TSOW and Dunkirk. I just double-checked and the last Oscar winner for Cinematography to not be nominated at the Baftas was Legends of the Fall over 20 years ago, well before the Baftas even could be remotely considered a reliable Oscar precursor. She needs ASC, otherwise she has no prayer at an Oscar upset without any momentum from a recent previous win.

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    Filmatelist
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    #1202494699

    As much as I would like Deakins to win, the more I think about it, the more I think it’s going to SHAPE. I think this based on a combination of things that the voters have traditionally gone for. What tends to win?

    (1) Nature/travel porn, or
    (2) Gee whiz effects, or
    (3) Bright vibrant visuals

    Deakins has rarely been nominated for films where these biases were heavily indulged.

    (1) While many of his films have taken place outdoors, they’re never gratuitous scenic shots. His landscapes are often bare and unforgiving (NO COUNTRY, SICARIO) or dark & moody (ASSASSINATION, PRISONERS) or both (TRUE GRIT). They always, of course, contribute to the psychology of the film to tremendous effect, but for those voters who vote along the BRAVEHEART/OUT OF AFRICA/LEGENDS OF THE FALL/RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT playbook, his films don’t satisfy that criteria.

    (2) The more recent trend of Cinematography piggy-backing on the VFX winner (INCEPTION, LIFE OF PI, GRAVITY, HUGO, AVATAR, FELLOWSHIP, TITANIC) is one that he’s never been able to capitalize on. BLADE RUNNER is the first film he’s been nominated for which also received a VFX nomination.

    (3) By “bright vibrant visuals”, I mean lots of color, with a hint of the exotic as well. This would include SLUMDOG, GEISHA, AVIATOR, CROUCHING TIGER, BIRDMAN, LA LA LAND, and PAN’S LABYRINTH. For creative reasons, his films have rarely indulged this either, sticking with a smaller color palette (O BROTHER’s sepia, SHAWSHANKS’s greys & greens, KNEW TOO LITTLE’s b&w) because it suited the story. Probably the closest he’s ever come to this type of look was KUNDUN, which is amazing work but (like ASSASSINATION), essentially an art film and too high-brow for the Academy’s tastes. The next closest would be SKYFALL (also phenomenal) but as a Bond film, too low-brow.

    Now, certainly some films have won that appear to contradict this rule–THERE WILL BE BLOOD’s oil fields, THE REVENANT’s sea of winter blues, AMERICAN BEAUTY’s subversive suburban look. But these were all films that in addition to having a distinctive look, were also Best Picture contenders. Probably the closest thing Deakins shot that fell into this category was FARGO, but it had to compete with the seductive desert shots of THE ENGLISH PATIENT.

    Which bring us to this year. BLADE RUNNER’s look for much of the film is bleak and cold. When it comes to the eye-popping color in Vegas, its orange is almost oppressive. Again, this works to the film’s favor, but it doesn’t pander to the Academy’s proven prejudices. The most variety of color is in the neon/hologram displays, which are intended to be off-putting, not attractive. Its biggest advantage is the VFX nod (and a decent bet for the win) because that’s the Academy’s most recent leaning.

    But like how PAN’S LABYRINTH colorful, atmospheric fantasy worlds proved spoiler to the bravura of CHILDREN OF MEN (which had fewer nods, bleak landscapes, lots of greys & blues), I think SHAPE OF WATER is in the best position to win. It’s got a bright vibrant palette that ranges from the laboratory’s green to the movie theater’s red to the warm browns of the apartments, with a helpful dose of special effects (and underwater work) to boot. Plus it’s nominated for the most Oscars and is almost certain to win others (like BLOOD, BEAUTY, REVENANT did). I’d say it has the edge, regardless of Academy sentimentality (Conrad Hall benefited from that for ROAD TO PERDITION, but he had to die first).

    I’d still say BR has a better chance than DUNKIRK. When SAVING PRIVATE RYAN won this category, it really rewrote the visual language of American moviemaking. The only other war film to win since was MASTER & COMMANDER, and that’s as much Galapagos nature travelogue as combat pic. DUNKIRK is the darkest of dark horses, imho.

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    manakamana
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    #1202495545

    @gustavocruzesilva ASC is Rachel Morrison’s last shot for any kind of momentum since she and Mudbound in general got snubbed entirely at Bafta. If she wins ASC it gives her momentum over BP Oscar nominees and realistic frontrunners TSOW and Dunkirk. I just double-checked and the last Oscar winner for Cinematography to not be nominated at the Baftas was Legends of the Fall over 20 years ago, well before the Baftas even could be remotely considered a reliable Oscar precursor. She needs ASC, otherwise she has no prayer at an Oscar upset without any momentum from a recent previous win.

    I’m sticking with Shape of Water regardless of who wins ASC but Morrison also shot Black Panther, which is exploding at an opportune time for her Oscar chances if she does pick up the ASC prize in addition to her historic narrative. She supposedly got the loudest applause at the Academy luncheon.

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    Bee
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    #1202495553

    I don’t think it’s out of the question that Rachel Morrison could win ASC and then the Oscar. Why would they stop at just nominating a woman for the first time? This is the year in which “happy just to be nominated” isn’t enough.

    The cinematography in Mudbound was VERY understated, completely the opposite of BR2049, Dunkirk, Darkest Hour and TSOW. It would also be a very transparent, political move that would cause a lot of backlash.

    What are you talking about? Mudbound’s cinematography had some very showy moments which is why it was considered one of the standouts. And how it would be political if they don’t even see the names of the nominees when voting for this category?

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    Joseph
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    #1202495554

    It understand why it would happen, but it would be an absolute shame if mudbound won over blade runner, dunkirk, and the shape of water

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    PJ Edwards
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    #1202495703

    Deakins wins ASC. I think that kills Dunkirk. I think only Shape has a chance at upset, but not sure people are really raving about it in the same way.

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    manakamana
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    #1202495845

    Worth noting, the last time a non-BP nominee won the Cinematography Oscar was Pan’s Labyrinth, which wasn’t competing against any Picture nominees, could’ve been in an expanded lineup, and wasn’t even nominated for ASC. The last time ASC/Oscar overlapped with a non-BP nominee here was Memoirs of a Geisha over a decade ago.

    The numbers hold similarly at BAFTA, going back to Children of Men and Memoirs. 2 of Deakins’s 3 BAFTA wins was within that time, both for NCFOM and True Grit (at least nominated for both BAFTA/Oscar BP).

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