And the nominees are:
The Assassination of Jesse James- Roger Deakins
Atonement- Seamus McGarvey
The Diving Bell & the Butterfly- Janusz Kaminski
No Country For Old Men- Roger Deakins
There Will Be Blood- Roger Elswit
This category is such an embarrassment of riches, it's positively ridiculous and this category incapsulates that completely. Not a dud or unimpressively photographed film above. I want to root for Roger Deakins for being awesome and utterly un-Oscared for so long, but I fear that two amazingly beautiful films will cancel him out. Elswit (Good Night, and Good Luck) won the ASC, and I'd be totally cool if he won, as I would with Kaminski and McGarvey. I can't predict who will win because it breaks my heart too much to pit them against each other. Happily, for me, whoever is called upon the Oscar stage is worthy. Of the films that missed the cut, Across the Universe and Sunshine and Lust, Caution deserved the mention as well but I won't complain here because the nominees are so good. The Assassination of Jesse James is achingly, beautifully filmed. Atonement is perfectly old school and that 4-minute war shot is incredible, if awkward to the story. The Diving Bell & the Butterly (which I think has the advantage) perfectly captures the birds eye view of "locked-in syndrome. No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood are prettily gritty and at some points just plain pretty.