Thursday, January 12, 2012

American Society of Cinematographers Nominations

The best pieces of cinematography of 2011, as per their own peers are:
  • The Artist- Guillaume Schiffman
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo- Jeff Cronenweth
  • Hugo- Robert Richardson
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy- Hoyte Van Hoytema
  • The Tree of Life- Emmanuel Lubezki
The biggest surprise must be the inclusion of Van Hoytema for his work on Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which has had a soft awards run so.  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's inclusion should be surprising, considering films it bested, but it's awards (and specifically guild) turn-up has been the most surprising element of the second stage of Oscar mania.  With it's near perfect (save for SAG) guild run, could this film really be on its way to a Best Picture nomination?  Really...this is second-tier Fincher people; just stating.

Schiffman, a longtime collaborator of The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius back in France is celebrating his first ASC nomination.  His work also includes last year's art house flick Gainsbourgh: A Heroic Life (a Best Make-Up finalist for this years Oscars.)  Very likely he'll be championed by the Academy.
Cronenweth has collaborated with David Fincher before, earning both an ASC and Oscar nomination last year for his (far superior) work on The Social Network.  He has also lensed Fight Club, Down With Love and One Hour Photo.
Richardson is one of the biggest and most acclaimed cinematographers currently working, and the current go-to-cameraman for both Scorsese and Tarantino.  He started to gain notoriety for his work with Oliver Stone, earning his first ASC nomination for 1989's Born on the Fourth of July and his first Oscar nomination for 1987's Platoon.  While this is his tenth ASC nomination (he was last nominated for 2009's Inglourious Basterds), he has yet the win the prize.  Richardson has, however, been Oscar-nominated six times and the Oscar twice-- for The Aviator (2004) and JFK (1991.)
Van Hoytema is receiving his first ASC mention, but has produced memorable work on films such as The Fighter and his last collaboration with Tinker Tailor director Tomas Alfredsen-- the dreamy vampire coming of age tale Let the Right One In.
Lubezki is one of the major cinematographers of modern cinema.  While that sounds like hyperbole, his work backs up that statement.  The preferred DP of Alfonso Cuaron and, now Terrence Malick has illuminated movie screens with some of the astonishing and inventive camera work of last fifty years.  He earns his third ASC mention for his work on The Tree of Life, a film I didn't even care for mostly, but still deserves to win-- he was previously honored by the ASC for the startlingly brilliant work he did for 2006's Children of Men and was also nominated in 1999 for Sleepy Hollow.  He has earned four Oscar nominations for Children of Men, The New World, Sleepy Hollow and A Little Princess-- he has yet to win!!!!

Last years line-up was:
  • Black Swan
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit
In a rare move-- the Oscar nominations matched 100% and Inception took both prizes.  If that holds true this year, than films like War Horse, Drive and Midnight in Paris will be one nomination-less than perhaps hoped for.

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