Lenser Wally Pfister wins ASC prize for ‘Inception’

Just hours after winning the BAFTA for Best Cinematography for “True Grit,” Roger Deakins was bested by Wally Pfister (“Inception”) at the 25th annual awards presented by the American Society of Cinematographers. However, he did receive a nice consolation prize as he was feted at this year’s silver anniversary edition of the ASC kudos for his lifetime of achievement.

While Deakins can number two wins among his previous nine ASC nods (“The Shawshank Redemption,” 1994; “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” 2001) he remains without an Oscar despite eight bids.

Pfister won the ASC over on his third try (his other two nods were also for working with helmer Christopher Nolan on “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”). The other nominees were all first-timers: Danny Cohen (“The King’s Speech), Jeff Cronenweth (“The Social Network”) and Matthew Libatique (“Black Swan”).

Over the 24-year history of these awards, the ASC choice for the best in the business has presaged the eventual winner at the Academy Award 12 times. And the ASC has predicted 97 of the 125 Oscar nominees, including all five of this year’s contenders.

Last year, first-time ASC contender Christian Berger, who filmed “The White Ribbon,” edged out nine-time nominee Robert Richardson for “Inglourious Basterds,” past ASC champ Dion Beebe (“Memoirs of a Geisha”) who picked up his third nod for “Nine,” and two other first-time ASC nominees —  Barry Ackroyd, who shot “The Hurt Locker,” and Mauro Fiore, who lensed “Avatar.” However, it was Fiore who went on to win the Oscar.

On the TV side, Jonathan Freeman won the series prize for “Boardwalk Empire. He had won in 2005 for the telefilm “Homeland Security.” This year, that award was won by rookie nominee Stephen Windon for the “Okinawa” episode of “The Pacific.”

Julia Roberts received the ASC Board of Governors Award durning the ceremony at the Grand Ballroom of Hollywood and Highland. This honor is bestowed on those “who have made extraordinary achievements to advancing the art and craft of filmmaking.” Previous recipients include Warren Beatty, Francis Ford Coppola, Sally Field, Morgan Freeman, Ron Howard, Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.

The Oscar-winning actress (“Erin Brockovich”) is married to lenser Danny Moder. The two, who met while making “The Mexican” a decade ago, have been married for almost nine years and have three children.

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