How is it possible that “La La Land” losing at the American Society of Cinematographers to “Lion” this weekend is actually good news for its 2017 Oscar chances? It’s all about the stats. The ASC winner for Best Feature Film has only gone on to claim an Oscar bookend for Best Cinematography 13 times in three decades, or 43% of the time. Since both kudos have matched up the past three years in a row — Emmanuel Lubezki‘s three-peat for “Gravity,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant” — that means ASC winner “Lion” is statistically unlikely to also roar at the Oscars.
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According to Gold Derby’s Oscar experts from major media outlets, “La La Land’s” Linus Sandgren is still the frontrunner to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. A whopping 21 of our 23 experts are betting on the whimsical musical comedy, resulting in leading 2/11 odds. Compare that to “Lion” cinematographer Grieg Fraser, who comes in fifth place with 80/1 odds to prevail.
The other three Oscar nominees were also up at Saturday’s ASC Awards: Bradford Young at 9/1 odds for “Arrival,” James Laxton at 40/1 odds for “Moonlight,” and Rodrigo Prieto at 66/1 odds for “Silence.” Of all five cinematographers, only Prieto is a previous Oscar contender, having been nominated for lensing “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). See more Oscar odds from our film experts.
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Besides Lubezki’s historic three wins a row for “Gravity” (2013), “Birdman” (2014) and “The Revenant” (2015), the other 10 repeat champs at both the ASC Awards and the Oscars are:
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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Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.