Best Cinematography Oscar predictions by experts: Roger Deakins to win for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ after 13 losses

According to our Oscar experts from major media outlets, 13-time also-ran Roger Deakins will finally win Best Cinematography for his work on “Blade Runner 2049.” He has the backing of 13 of our pundits while his closest rival, “Dunkirk” lenser Hoyte van Hoytema, has the votes of seven. That gives Deakins leading odds of 23/10 while van Hoytema is at 11/4.

But be warned: This Dutch cinematographer, who has never contended at Oscars, could have the edge over Deakins as he worked on the Best Picture frontrunner. Remember, the ballot does not name contenders in below-the line categories but just the film titles.

Indeed, Deakins was bested in four of his previous races by the cinematographers of the Best Picture winner: for “Fargo” he lost to “The English Patient” (1996); “Kundun” was edged out by “Titanic” (1997), “The Reader” was defeated by “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008); and “Unbroken” lost to “Birdman” (2014).

Seven otehr times he was edged out by the lensers of Best Picture nominees: “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” lost to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000); “The Man Who Wasn’t There” was edged out by “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001); “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” was bested by “There Will Be Blood” (2007); “True Grit” was pipped by “Inception” (2010); “Skyfall” was edged out by the technically impressive “Life of Pi” (2012); “Prisoners” was defeated by “Gravity” (2013); and “Sicario” was bested by “The Revenant” (2015).

Deakins did contend for his work on the 2007 Best Picture winner “No Country for Old Men” (2007). However, he was also nominated that year for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” The Oscar went to Robert Elswit (“There Will Be Blood”) who had lost to Deakins at the BAFTAs.

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