Monday, February 11, 2019

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Cinematography

The competition: Cold War (Łukasz Żal), The Favourite (Robbie Ryan), Never Look Away (Caleb Deschanel), Roma (Alfonso Cuarón), A Star is Born (Matthew Libatique)

Previous winners: Blade Runner 2049, La La Land, The Revenant, Birdman, Gravity, Life of Pi, Hugo
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!
The facts: This is the sixth nomination for Deschanel, who was last nominated in 2004 for “The Passion of the Christ.” This is Cuarón’s first bid in this category, but, in addition to a 2013 win for directing “Gravity,” he also contends for directing, writing, and producing his film this year. Libatique was previously nominated for “Black Swan” in 2010. This is the first nomination for Zal and Ryan. The last time three foreign-language films were honored here was in 2004, and foreign films have won this award before, with “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” being the most recent ones to do so. Only “Never Look Away” is not nominated for the ASC Award, which went to “Cold War.” Since the ASC has existed, its winner has only gone on to win the Oscar fourteen out of thirty-two times, and six times in the past decade. The BAFTA was awarded to “Roma.” A Best Picture nominee has won this award every year over the past decade except for last year, which may dilute the chances for “Cold War” and “Never Look Away.” The last black-and-white film to win this award was “Schindler’s List” in 1993, with “Cold War” and “Roma” looking to update that statistic this year.

Who should win: These are all formidable selections. Both “Cold War” and “Roma” were exceptionally-shot, seeming like they were in color despite its absence. “A Star is Born” had a look to it that made the story feel even more personal. “Never Look Away” is a fantastic choice, framing its lengthy narrative vividly. My favorite is, in fact, “The Favourite,” an enthralling tale brought even more to life thanks to its focused lensing.
Who will win: I think it’s a competition between Roma and “The Favourite” with “Cold War” coming up as a potential spoiler, and I’ll give the edge to the first one with minimal confidence.

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