- Ed Lachman (Carol)
- Robert Richardson (The Hateful Eight)
- John Seale (Mad Max: Fury Road)
- Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
- Roger Deakins (Sicario)
SHOULD BE HERE: Maryse Alberti (Creed)
Former Hitfix.com and current Variety writer Kristopher Tapley creates a list every year of the best shots in film of the year. Wouldn't you know it, Creed ended up at the very top of the list. Almost everyone currently nominated for an Academy Award earned a spot on Mr. Tapley's list, but one of the very best films of the year ended up at #1. I personally would have gone with the oner fight scene in the middle of the film- a piece of technical mastery that instantly rose to the top as one of the best fight scenes in the history of cinema (not a hyperbole)- but that's just me. Alberti's camera work in Creed is just incredible, much like everyone who worked on the film, and her nomination would have not only made the Oscars not so white, but would have been well deserved.
THOUGHTS AND MUSINGS ON THE NOMINATIONS:
CAROL: The one film that surprisingly wasn't on Mr. Tapley's list was one of the best framed movies of the year. I went into Carol ready to dismiss the cinematography thinking that The Academy only nominated Mr. Lachman because the movie was shot on Super 16mm film, Personally, I have no idea if the version of the film I saw was digital or on film, but I couldn't less care either way. I really enjoyed that grainy 1950's vibe that Lachman was going for and loved the way he framed his shots and how he shot scenes between Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett.
THE HATEFUL EIGHT: While I assumed that Carol earned a nomination because of the film used to shoot the film, The Hateful Eight absolutely earned a nomination in this category solely because it was shot on 70mm film. I know for a fact that I saw the digital version of this film, and I enjoyed every second of it. I am dubious that my enjoyment of the film would have changed otherwise. Anyways, Robert Richardson did a fine job with the film, but I don't know that he was one of the very best of the year.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD: I personally didn't enjoy this film, but that still doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the technical aspects of it. The fact that most of the film used practical stunts, and that 70 year old John Seale was in these cars and on rigs filming this stunts is just spectacular to me. Further, one of the best things that Mad Max: Fury Road has going for it is its look and aesthetic, and that all gets attributed back to Mr. Seale.
SICARIO: Roger Deakins is my favorite working cinematographer. His first job was the DP for my favorite movie The Shawshank Redemption, and I've loved him ever since. Deakins has worked on a litany of films by the Coen Brothers, Skyfall, and earned one of his 13 Oscar nominations on Denis Villeneuve's last film Prisoners. Deakins teamed up with Villeneuve again for Sicatio, and again Deakins shot a masterpiece. I hated Sicario so much that I now just call it Sicari-slow, but the cinematography was outstanding.
THE REVENANT: Roger Deakins would be the greatest cinematographer of all time and he might have an Oscar win or two if it wasn't for Emmanuel Lubezki. Mr. Lubezki earned his first Oscar two years ago for his work on Gravity and his second one last year working with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu by making Birdman look like it was all one long take. Lubezki teamed up with Mr. Inarritu again on The Revenant and ensured himself an Oscar three-peat. Like Sicario, there wasn't a lot I personally liked about the film, but there's no denying Lubezki's genius. The way the camera movies throughout the film and how beautiful it looks means that Lubezki absolutely deserved this nomination.
IF I HAD AN OSCAR VOTE:
- Creed (Maryse Alberti)
- The Danish Girl (Danny Cohen)
- Mad Max: Fury Road (John Seale)
- The Revenant (Emmanuel Lubezki)
- Spotlight (Masanobu Takayanagi)
WHO SHOULD WIN (ENTIRE ELIGIBLE FIELD): Maryse Alberti (Creed)
WHO SHOULD WIN (ACTUAL NOMINEES): Ed Lachman (Carol)
WHO WILL WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
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