American Society of Cinematographers Awards nominations: Oscar favorite ‘Mank’ leads ASC race too

The American Society of Cinematographers nominees announced on March 10 include three of our five leading Oscar contenders for Best Cinematography including the frontrunner to win — Erik Messerschmidt for “Mank” — as well as Joshua James Richards for “Nomadland” and Dariusz Wolski for “News of the World. Also in contention are Phedon Papamichael for “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and Newton Thomas Sigel for “Cherry. We are predicting Sigel will reap an Oscar bid for “Da 5 Bloods” instead.

Papamichael is a favorite of the ASC; he was nominated here last year for “Ford v Ferrari” but was bumped out at the Oscars by  “The Lighthouse” lenser Jarin Blaschke. We don’t expect him to contend at the Academy Awards this year either with Hoyte van Hoytema likely to land the fifth slot for “Tenet.”

Over its 34-year history, the ASC has predicted 136 of the 170 Oscar nominees, including four in both 2019 and 2020 and all five in both 2018 and 2017. However, the ASC choice for the best in the business has presaged the eventual winner at the Oscars only 15 times in 34 years:

Dean Semler, “Dances with Wolves” (1991)
John Toll, “Braveheart” (1996)
John Seale, “The English Patient” (1997)
Russell Carpenter, “Titanic” (1998)
Conrad L. Hall, “American Beauty” (2000)
Conrad L. Hall, “Road to Perdition” (2003)
Dion Beebe, “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2006)
Robert Elswit, “There Will Be Blood” (2008)
Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire” (2009)
Wally Pfister, “Inception” (2011)
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Gravity” (2014)
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman” (2015)
Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Revenant” (2016)
Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049” (2018)
Roger Deakins, “1917” (2020)

The 35th annual ASC Awards take place April 18, which is the midway mark for final Oscar voting. The 93rd annual Academy Awards are April 25.

PREDICT the 2021 Oscar nominations through March 15

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