American Society of Cinematographers Awards nominations: Oscar hit or miss?

The American Society of Cinematographers nominees announced on January 9 include only one of our five leading Oscar contenders for Best Cinematography: frontrunner Claudio Miranda for “Top Gun: Maverick.” The other four contenders are ASC stalwart Roger Deakins (“Empire of Light”) who reaped his 17th bid; last year’s winner with both the guild and the Oscars Greig Fraser (“The Batman”); Darius Khondji (“Bardo”) and Mandy Walker (“Elvis”).

This quartet figures in our top 10 but we are predicting that joining Miranda in the Oscar line-up will be Russell Carpenter (“Avatar: The Way of Water”); James Friend (“All Quiet on the Western Front”); Janusz Kaminski (“The Fabelmens”); and Linus Sandgren (“Babylon”).

Over its 36-year history, the ASC has predicted 144 of the 180 Oscar nominees, including four in 2019, 2020 and 2021 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 17 times:

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)
Greig Fraser, “Dune” (2022)

The 37th annual ASC Awards take place on March 5.

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