Best Cinematography 2015

For the films of 2015

Of the nominees for Best Cinematography for 2015, which was the best?

Carol (Ed Lachmann)
13
68%
The Hateful Eight (Robert Richardson)
0
No votes
Mad Max: Fury Road (John Seale)
3
16%
The Revenant (Emmanuel Lubezki)
0
No votes
Sicario (Roger Deakins)
3
16%
 
Total votes: 19

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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby Okri » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:40 pm

Okay, now is when I actually turned against Lubeszki. The Revenant’s Oscar success (12 nominations?) was one of the more unwelcome aspects of 2015’s cinematic year. His work here is solid in its own right, but also completely at odds with the story being told. I don’t understand how The Hateful 8 got its nomination here. It’s not bad, I guess.

I’d replace those two with Son of Saul and either Phoenix or The Assassin – probably the latter.

Sicario is not as great a movie as some of its defenders insist, but the craftwork is definitely sterling all around. Deakins’ contributes less than he does with some of his best achievements and I think the sound/scoring work for Sicario stands out more than the cinematography, but it’s a worthy nomination nonetheless.

I love Carol as much as the next one, but don’t feel the need to vote for it here. Lachman’s work, though, is a marvel. The images have a clarity and intimacy that sells you on this story even if you hesitate a little at other aspects.

But I’m gonna go with the gonzo genius of John Seale with Mad Max. This film exists in extremis and Seale commits whole-heartedly to the endeavour. One might be tempted to just credit Miller for the entire thing and I definitely wonder if I’m giving Seale credit that belongs to the editing team or the stunt team just for the memorable velocity of the images But oh what memorable images!

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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:47 pm

Since we're almost ready to go forward-into-the-past with the 60s slates, I'd better catch up on these recent years.

Son of Saul is the definite miss as far as I'm concerned.

It strikes me that the credit sequence of The Hateful Eight is what largely accounted for its win in musical score and its nomination here. The snowy environment is beautifully captured (and underlined by the best of Morricone's music). After that, the film is well-enough lit, but it's primarily interiors, which don't offer that much variety or opportunity for invention.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a technical achievement, and things like the sandstorm are wonderful to behold. It's a perfectly solid nominee.

The Revenant also has its sure-fire moments -- notably the ride down the rapids -- and its win in this category is the most defensible of the three. But I've voted for Lubezki in a lot of places the Academy hasn't, so I'll refrain here.

It may be that I'm simply unfairly comparing to Far from Heaven, but I have to say I don't find this Haynes/Lachman collaboration the slam-dunk winner so many of you do. It looks fine, in a muted/period piece way, and I certainly don't dispute it as a nominee. But it doesn't get my vote.

No, this is where I give my random Deakins vote. I think Sicario has all sorts of memorable images along the way -- notably the stark, ominous convoy of agents across the border -- but then the film jumps to another level in the night-goggle underground trek. This latter section of the film is one of the most visually memorable in any film I saw in 2015...which is enough to get my vote.

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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby The Original BJ » Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:50 pm

This field mostly made sense to me. Son of Saul would be my chief (albeit likely chanceless) alternative.

I don't really get the nomination for The Hateful Eight. I know a lot of brouhaha was made about the fact that it was shot in 70mm (and I saw it in that format), but I have no idea why a mostly one-room piece shot generally like a stage play necessitated such extravagance. This strikes me as mostly a knee-jerk nomination for Richardson, who has done far more notable work elsewhere.

Sicario covers a decent amount of visual ground, from the harshness of the sun-stricken deserts to the haunting quality of the night-time set pieces. Deakins does strong work conveying the vastness of the border region's landscape, and finding inventive ways to shoot the film's most visceral moments. Not a peak achievement for him (even for this director), but a solid nominee.

Although I dissented from the near-euphoric critical enthusiasm for Mad Max: Fury Road, even I can't deny that it was a dazzling technical achievement. John Seale -- who made golden-hued deserts so intoxicating once before -- gives this film an obviously striking look, and I think the elegance of the film's dystopian images (particularly compared to the more ragged work on the original Mad Max trilogy) was a huge reason so many found this such a special movie. Not quite the category where I'd vote for it, though.

Cinematography was probably The Revenant's strongest area of achievement. This was another widely nominated movie that just wasn't to my tastes, but Lubezki's work on it is nonetheless very impressive -- the film's landscapes feel both realistically harsh and vividly beautiful, and for a movie without that much dialogue, it almost HAD to have visuals this breathtaking to become a substantial hit. But I've gone for Lubezki plenty already -- even more than the Academy -- so I feel no need to go overboard with him any further.

And so I end up voting for the movie I simply like the best here, which is Carol. As Sabin suggests, Carol was a much more classical piece than Far From Heaven, where the pastiche of the cinematography was so notable it just leapt out at you. But the old-fashioned beauty of the images here is swoon-worthy nonetheless, from the chilly exteriors of New York at wintertime, to the warmly lit romantic interiors. There's such grace and delicacy to how this film has been crafted, and the photography is one of its loveliest aspects. An easy vote.

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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:59 am

I went with Sicario, although Carol and Mad Max are certainly strong contenders.

Other contenders for me: It Follows, Creed, Beasts of No Nation, Tangerine, Room, and Phoenix
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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:21 am

Precious Doll wrote:Carol was an easy choice for me. Certainly the cinematography in the other films was impressive but the negative for me with all of the films is that I didn't actually like any of them so the fact that they are visually impressive I pretty much the most positive aspect of all of them.


Except for Sicario which I liked despite all the violence, I agree but we already beat that horse to the ground in real time. What hits me anew, though, is that except for Carol, these were all violent narrratives. That's the first time that all but one of the nominees in any of he cinematography categories were centered around violence and hopefully will be the last.
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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:45 am

Carol was an easy choice for me. Certainly the cinematography in the other films was impressive but the negative for me with all of the films is that I didn't actually like any of them so the fact that they are visually impressive I pretty much the most positive aspect of all of them.

My choice for the year (which I don't think was eligible) was from the never nominated Peter Suschitzky for Matteo Garrone's adult fairytale Tale of Tales, which sadly few people have seen on the big screen.

Other omissions: Brooklyn, Sunset Song, The Brand New Testament, Spy, Kingsman, Land of Mine, Francofonia and Cemetery of Splendour.
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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby Sabin » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:32 am

Sorry for the abbreviated post...

Easy vote for Carol but this is overall a very strong group of nominees. Three of the nominees (Lubezki, Richardson, Seale) showcased mad man visions to divergent opinions, while the other two (Deakins, Lachmann) held their bag of tricks closer to their more classicist chests. I don't know if it's the best lineup of the decade but it's certainly one of the most interesting. Truly.

It would seem like the clearest omission of these nominees would be Janusz Kaminski for Bridge of Spies, especially considering that this chapter of his collaboration with Steven Spielberg has been CLEARLY more favored by the Academy than the one prior. Bridge of Spies picked up nominations from the ASC and BAFTA over Richardson. But leading up to Oscar morning, it certainly seemed conceivable that Son of Saul could have picked up a much stronger showing a la City of God than anyone could have anticipated, especially following Ida showing up the previous year.
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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:05 pm

An easy vote for Carol with Sicario the only other nominee worth considering. Conspicuous by their absence were Bridge of Spies and Ex Machina. Brooklyn would have been my fifth nominee.
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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:03 pm

I adore Mad Max: Fury Road, but there is no better shot film than Carol. It might even be my favorite photography of the decade.
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Re: Best Cinematography 2015

Postby mlrg » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:39 pm

Voted for Carol

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Best Cinematography 2015

Postby Sabin » Tue Sep 04, 2018 4:59 pm

Slammed. Easy vote for Carol.
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