It would seem that this year’s cinematography nominees were picked by aliens—certainly not by the same people who voted for Memoirs of a Geisha last year (no offense to Dion Beebe, who surely deserved a nomination this year): not a single Best Picture nominee in the lot, and all mostly uncompromised examples of purposeful cinematographic beauty. Without nominations from the American Society of Cinematographers, Pan’s Labyrinth appears to be out of the running. Ditto The Prestige, which has been hounded for most of the Oscar season by the year’s other magician movie, The Illusionist, whose score (by Philip Glass) and cinematography (by Dick Pope) has caught the attention of several critics groups in the past few months. As for the film’s chances, Oscar history tells us that She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, way back in 1950, was the last film to win this award without being nominated in any other category. Sucks for Pope and the great Vilmos Zsigmond, whose nomination for The Black Dahlia was Oscar’s most pleasant surprise this year. That leaves Emmanuel Lubezki, who appears to have garnered more favor for his phantasmagoric contributions to Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men than he did last year for Terrence Malick’s The New World. No one in this category deserves this award more, something Salma Hayek is sure to make known should she be asked to read the name of the winner.
Will Win: Children of Men
Should Win: Children of Men