American Society of Cinematographers nominations: ‘La La Land,’ ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Arrival,’ ‘Lion,’ ‘Silence’

The American Society of Cinematographers nominees announced Wednesday (Jan. 11) include our four leading Oscar contenders for Best Cinematography — frontrunner “La La Land” (Linus Sandgren) as well “Silence”  (Rodrigo Prieto), “Moonlight” (James Laxton) and “Arrival” (Bradford Young). The fifth ASC nominee is “Lion” (Greig Fraser), which we have ranked as a longshot at the Oscars, well back of “Jackie.”

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While Prieto has contended with the ASC twice before (“Frida,”2002; “Brokeback Mountain” 2005), the other nominees are all first-timers here. Over its 30-year history, the ASC has predicted 118 of the 150 Oscar nominees, including four of last year’s five contenders.

However, the ASC choice for the best in the business has presaged the eventual winner at the Oscars only 13 times in three decades. Besides Emmanuel Lubezki‘s historic three wins a row for “Gravity,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant” beginning in 2013, the other repeat champs were:

Dean Semler, “Dances with Wolves” (1990)
John Toll, “Braveheart” (1995)
John Seale, “The English Patient” (1996)
Russell Carpenter, “Titanic” (1997)
Conrad L. Hall, “American Beauty” (1999)
Conrad L. Hall, “Road to Perdition” (2002)
Dion Beebe, “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005)
Robert Elswit, “There Will Be Blood” (2007)
Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)
Wally Pfister, “Inception” (2010)

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The ASC also announced the nominees for the Spotlight Award, which honors films that screen at festivals, internationally, or in limited release. They  are:

Lol Crawley, “Childhood of a Leader”
Gorka Gomez Andreu, “House of Others”
Ernesto Pardo, “Tempestad”
Juliette van Dormael. “Mon Ange (My Angel)”

The 31st annual ASC Awards take place on Feb. 4 at the Beverly Hilton.

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