Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One Category at a Time: Best Cinematography

Always my favourite category, even if it's been a while since the most deserving DP actually won this award. Still, the nominees are often a strong bunch.

To me, the obvious standout in this year's class is Bruno Delbonnel for his textured work on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but the Potter franchise is hardly respected enough to actually win an Oscar, let alone in a category that often goes to a Best Picture nominee.

The smart money is on Avatar by virtue of being the "prettiest" of the five, because that's really all that voters look for (insert complaint about lazy voting here). The only way Mauro Fiore loses this is if there are enough people who are CG-biased to give their vote to either Barry Achroyd for The Hurt Locker or the great Robert Richardson for Inglourious Basterds (I give an edge to the latter because The Hurt Locker probably isn't pretty enough).

A dark horse contender is Christian Berger for The White Ribbon, who has coasted through the season on the film's black-and-whiteness. It certainly has the appearance of great cinematography, but I'm not sold on it. This is the only nominee I take exception with. I'd much have preferred The Road or Nine.

Will win: Avatar
Should win: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Should have won: The Road

After the cut: a collection of my favourite shots of the year. If it at all interests you, check out Kris Tapley's list over at In Contention, which is always a treat.


Avatar
The Cove
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds
Nine
The Road

3 comments:

Amir said...

just out of curiosity, since you say you don't think the best DP has actually won in a while, who was the last you actually chose too?

cause this is my favorite cateogry too, but the last time i agreed with the winner was only two years ago (TWBB). beyond that, yes it goes a while back.

Amir said...

although, i have to say, in 2007 i would have been totally fine with a win for 'the assassination of jesse james by the coward roberto ford" too.

The Oscar Nazi said...

The last winner which I 100% agreed with was Robert Richardson for The Aviator in 2005.

Should have been Pfister for Batman Begins in 2006.
Should have been Lubezki for Children of Men in 2007.
Should have been Deakins for Jesse James in 2008.
Should have been Pfister for The Dark Knight last year.

That being said, the films that did win were not unworthy.