Categores One-by-One: Best Cinematography

rudeboy
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Postby rudeboy » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:45 am

Clearly this is Roger Deakins' best shot at the Oscar to date. True Grit is far from his best work, but it has the kind of sweeping, epic sprawl that usualy does well in this category. I'd be quite surprised if he doesn't win tomorrow.

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Postby Hollywood Z » Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:00 am

OscarGuy wrote:And remember this is the Academy who tends to favor exteriors over interiors. I don't remember that many exteriors in Perdition.

Actually, I think this is the reason why Conrad L. Hall won Cinematography for Road to Perdition.

Not certain if it was a set or not, but even if it was, they did a great job making an interior looking like an exterior.




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Postby OscarGuy » Fri Feb 25, 2011 6:13 am

Sorry. Meant Chicago, not Aviator.
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Postby Okri » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:57 pm

Road to Perdition was VERY pretty and stylish, though. Too pretty and stylish for the material (no, Hall didn't deserve the award) but I basically thought it was his when I left the theatre. The Aviator won in 2004.

And Perdition actually was one of the higher grossers of the prestige films that year, had a half dozen nominations and was probably next in line for best picture honours.

I'm rooting for Black Swan. Somewhat startled that 127 Hours didn't make it (in fact, I'm surprised at the movie's showing in general).

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Postby OscarGuy » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:39 pm

I think both The Aviator and Far From Heaven are far prettier than Road to Perdition. And remember this is the Academy who tends to favor exteriors over interiors. I don't remember that many exteriors in Perdition.
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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:30 pm

Hmmm.
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Postby Sonic Youth » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:47 pm

Big Magilla wrote:does everyone in AMPAS know who Roger Deakins is and that he directed True Grit?

I hope not. :p
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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:18 pm

Oh, lighten up, guys. I was being facetious about the obits, but really, outside of his fellow cinematographers and the people he's worked with, who are a considerable lot, does everyone in AMPAS know who Roger Deakins is and that he directed True Grit? I mean if he has such great name reognition why didn't he win for The Reader for which he was nominated the same year he shot Revolutionary Road and Doubt. Why give the Oscar to a nobody like Christian Colson for Slumdog Millionaire? Because he was part of that film's sweep, that's why.

So, yeah, True Grit could win because as Sabin says, it looks the prettiest, or he could lose to the d.p. of The Social Network o The King's Speech as part of a sweep for one of those films.




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Postby Sabin » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:18 pm

These people know. Just because it's not marked on the ballots, doesn't mean these people on the whole don't now. And the thing about True Grit is that it has enough Academy-friendly pageantry to it (sunsets, night footage, shadows, etc.) to mark it a solid bet even if it wasn't 9-time loser Roger Deakins.

Pretty sure Conrad Hall would have won for Road to Perdition if he didn't die. Why? 'Cause it looked the prettiest. So does True Grit. It's not the best shot film, but it's the prettiest.
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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:50 pm

Yeah, Magilla, I think you're going a little too far here. Roger Deakins has had a long career, and certainly a whole lot of actors/directors/other cinematographers/set and costume designers who've had their work lit by him over two decades would be familiar with his past work and with the fact that it's him nominated here. Fine, some executives/agents/"at-large" members and the nursing home set will not know him, but I think it's a mistake to assume they dominate.

The key is, he has a nomination that would be competitive in a blind test as well. This isn't that O'Connell guy, who was up for a shitty movie in the tougher sound category, so the fact that it was his eleventy-millionth nomination didn't carry as much weight.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:27 pm

Big Magilla wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:Besides, you can't say they aren't going to give it to him because not everyone knows who he is and then also claim that Rick Baker will win Makeup based on name recognition alone because the Academy loves him.

Sure you can.

Rick Baker has been more or less doing the same thing since An American Werewold in London. Anyone can tell his work a mile away.

Conrad Hill won his third Oscar for Road to Perditon because he died in January, 2003. The first thing all those old people in the Academy read every morning are the obits in Daily Variety. They may have heard the name Roger Deakins, but unless they've worked with him, probably wouldn't know the difference between him and a dozen other cinematographers. It's not like he's Gregg Toland or Leon Shamroy or Gordon Parks or someone else whose work is distinctive.

Do we even know this for sure, Magilla? It's all very well thought out, but it sounds like rank speculation. Isn't just as likely that voters know the names out of regard and appreciation towards them and their work? I'm sure many of them are avid movie-lovers, too. Plus, wouldn't actors know which cinematographers do the best jobs of capturing them onscreen?




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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:22 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Besides, you can't say they aren't going to give it to him because not everyone knows who he is and then also claim that Rick Baker will win Makeup based on name recognition alone because the Academy loves him.

Sure you can.

Rick Baker has been more or less doing the same thing since An American Werewold in London. Anyone can tell his work a mile away.

Conrad Hill won his third Oscar for Road to Perditon because he died in January, 2003. The first thing all those old people in the Academy read every morning are the obits in Daily Variety. They may have heard the name Roger Deakins, but unless they've worked with him, probably wouldn't know the difference between him and a dozen other cinematographers. It's not like he's Gregg Toland or Leon Shamroy or Gordon Parks or someone else whose work is distinctive.
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Postby rain Bard » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:40 pm

Come on, even Oscar expert Jackie Harvey is predicting Deakens this year...

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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:31 am

The only way I think Deakins' veteran-sans-Oscar status could help him is among that discerning group that will know which cinematographer is responsible for which film. Some of those, who might otherwise opt for Libatique on merit, could be persuaded to go for the overdue master.

And, as anonymous says, True Grit is clearly in the race among the lesser-informed, simply because it fits the traditional outdoorsy Academy mold and is a highly-regarded film.

It's being reported that cinematography and art direction are the first prizes to be handed out. Thus, if The King's Speech takes this category (which would be a massive injustice; the worst cinematography choice even in this lesser not-great), we'll know all too early that we're in for a dreary evening. I don't see any King's romp extending that far, but unpleasant surprses are of course all too possible.

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Postby OscarGuy » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:30 am

Cinematographers are probably the most recognized names in cinema. How else could you explain the recently-departed Conrad L. Hall winning another Oscar for a film that seems quite antithetical to standard Academy tastes? I mean, they had Chicago, Far From Heaven, Gangs of New York and The Pianist, all arguably more seen films than Road to Perdition, yet they went with a career tribute to a cinematography legend.

Besides, you can't say they aren't going to give it to him because not everyone knows who he is and then also claim that Rick Baker will win Makeup based on name recognition alone because the Academy loves him.

I think True Grit, by virtue of being the only film that takes place largely outdoors, will win the award because of that, not necessarily because of Deakins' name attachment, though, his name, even if not on the ballot, will still get his fans to vote for him.
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