Monday, January 11, 2010

ASC nominations!

Wow! No sooner do I finish my write up of the WGA nominees, than one of my favourite guilds announce their slate:

The Hurt Locker, Barry Ackroyd
Nine, Dion Beebe
The White Ribbon, Christian Berger
Avatar, Mauro Fiore
Inglorious Basterds, Robert Richardson

It's a good lineup. I wouldn't be surprised to see Oscar match it five for five, but I don't think that'll be the case. Something feels off. One of these is going to be snubbed, but which one?

Nine and Inglourious Basterds both feature very Academy-friendly work from bonafide Oscar-winners Dion Beebe and the great Robert Richardson. Their nominations are justly locked.

I used to think Mauro Fiore was in the weakest position because of Avatar's prevalent computer fabrication. Cinematography was the big snub Return of the King got in 2004, after all. But having been nominated by every guild thus far except the SAG, maybe it'll show up across the board.

Perhaps Barry Ackroyd's shaky camera work isn't "pretty" enough for the Cinematography branch, but The Hurt Locker has unanimous guild support, and its photography has been cited by more critics groups than any other this year.

The White Ribbon swept the three top critics groups (LAFCA, NYFCC, and NSFC) for cinematography, and this category has been known to be inclusive of foreign films, but how many Academy members have actually seen it? And as carefully done as Christian Berger's photography is, there's nothing "spectacular" or "exciting" about it, unlike all four of its fellow ASC nominees.

On a note of personal taste, I am saddened but unsurprised to see that the two best-shot films of the year, The Road and Harry Potter, failed to show up here. Their Oscar hopes are as good as dead. But... if my premonition of an 4/5 match-up comes to fruition, maybe one of them stands a chance of sneaking in!
Fingers crossed!

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