A Best Cinematography Oscar nomination for ‘1917’ would move Roger Deakins up to second on the all-time list

Roger Deakins is back in the Best Cinematography Oscar race for the first time since his win for “Blade Runner 2049” (2017) with Sam Mendes‘ “1917.” His long-awaited victory was on his 14th nomination and if he nabs a 15th, he’ll tie for second place for most nominations.

Robert Surtees is currently in sole possession of second-place honors, amassing 15 bids over his nearly five-decade career. He won for “King Solomon’s Mines” (1950), “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952) and “Ben-Hur” (1959). Leon Shamroy and Charles Lang hold the category record at 18 nominations each. Shamroy has a record four wins, which he shares with 10-nominee Joseph Ruttenberg, having triumphed for “The Black Swan” (1942), “Wilson” (1944), “Leave Her to Heaven” (1945) and “Cleopatra” (1963). Lang prevailed once, taking home the prize on his second nomination for “A Farewell to Arms” (1932).

SEE Can Roger Deakins win the Best Cinematography Oscar again so soon after long overdue first victory?

At the moment, Deakins is tied at 14 bids with Harry Stradling, who nabbed statuettes for “The Picture of Dorian Gray” (1945) and “My Fair Lady” (1964). Had Deakins lost for “Blade Runner 2049,” he would have set the record for the most losses without a win, a dubious honor held by George J. Folsey, who went 0-13.

A nomination for Deakins feels practically assured after “1917’s” first screenings last month. Thanks to the World War I drama’s “one continuous shot” and real-time (with one “cheat”) conceit, Deakins’ absorbing, naturalistic camerawork is a major star of the film, following two young soldiers (George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman) in a race against time to deliver a message to stop an ambush. The DP sits atop our odds by a wide margin over “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “The Irishman,” “The Lighthouse” and “Joker.” It took Deakins forever (OK, 23 years) to finally win an Oscar, but he now he may score two in three years.

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