Friday, January 12, 2018

Oscar Predictions: Best Cinematography

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 23rd. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: Arrival, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Silence

This year’s locks: Dunkirk, The Shape of Water

Very likely: Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour

Possible: Call Me By Your Name, Mudbound, The Post

Unlikely: Wonderstruck, The Greatest Showman, Wonder Wheel

The rundown: The five nominees chosen by the American Society of Cinematographers all seem like perfectly logical bets. The only film that’s not likely to be in contention for non-technical awards is Blade Runner 2049, but thirteen-time nominee Roger Deakins, who has yet to win, shouldn’t have any trouble getting nominated. Dunkirk and The Shape of Water, two frontrunners for Best Picture, are sure things, and Darkest Hour, which might only pop up in lead actor and makeup, is looking good for a third nomination here. I think that Call Me By Your Name will bump Mudbound, but watch out for past winners like Janusz Kaminski for The Post or even Vittoria Storaro for Wonder Wheel. They’ll get some votes, but I’d be very surprised if Wonderstruck, which hasn’t factored much into the awards conversation, or The Greatest Showman, likely to be recognized for aural elements instead, made the cut.

One possible crazy scenario: It shouldn’t be crazy, but Battle of the Sexes has been almost completely forgotten after it was released to positive reviews. Linus Sandgren won last year for “La La Land” and could well be a threat to repeat, but there’s no zero buzz for the film and its very strong lensing.

Forecasted winner: Remembering that “Pan’s Labyrinth” won this award eleven years ago, I’ll give the edge to The Shape of Water over “Dunkirk.”

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