American Society of Cinematographers Awards preview: Oscar contender ‘Mank’ leads ASC race

The American Society of Cinematographers nominees announced on March 10 include four of the five leading Oscar contenders for Best Cinematography including Erik Messerschmidt for “Mank” as well as Phedon Papamichael for “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” Joshua James Richards for “Nomadland” and Dariusz Wolski for “News of the World. Also in contention is Newton Thomas Sigel for “Cherry. The fifth Oscar contender, Sean Bobbitt for “Judas and the Black Messiah” was snubbed by the guild.

Over its 35-year history, the ASC has predicted 140 of the 175 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.

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