Electricity & Lust

Oscar Predictions: Cinematography

Posted in Awards, oscars, Sam by Sam Unsted on February 17, 2008
jesse-james.jpg

So I’ll be doing an in depth discussion of each of the key categories at the Oscars this year, finishing with the Best Picture Award on the penultimate day, Oscar-eve. They’ll be Cinematography (below), Screenplays, Supporting Players, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture in that order. Feel free to disagree.

Cinematography

The Nominees: Atonement, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country For Old Men, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, There Will Be Blood

A very strong line-up indeed this year with all five worthy winners. This is one is on the fringes of the artistic and tech categories and tend to form two ways. Either it goes to the sweeping board winner, a very unlikely occurrence this year. More likely it will go to a film which sees its other chances limited due to extra prestige heaped on its competitors. This year, that film is likely to be There Will Be Blood. For me it was the finest moviemaking achievement in recent memory and the perfectly lit, dry sepia tones and blazing landscapes escape the realms of showiness to be simply awe-inspiring. The films chances in other categories seem slim, obviously barring Day Lewis, so voters in the category, often willing to honour edgier productions, I think will aim to give a little extra praise to this.

Roger Deakins perhaps deserves the awards for photographing two superb movies this year. He brought a sombre darkness to No Country For Old Men and an oxymoronic fuzzed clarity to The Assassination of Jesse James. The second is probably a finer one as it is his elegance of shooting which collides with Casey Affleck’s barn-burning twitchiness to drive the movie.

The Diving Bell is probably not showy enough and seems likely to get its honour in the Screenplay category. Atonement is struggling seemingly in everything but Best Picture with two key precursors under its belt. The photography on the film is fantastic, one of its firmest aspects and I’d place it as a possible dark horse in the competition.

Who Will Win: There Will Be Blood

Who Should Win: There Will Be Blood or The Assassination of Jesse James

Dark Horse: Atonement

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