If you were counting on the American Society of Cinematographers for pointers in predicting next week's Oscar nominations in the category, you're out of luck. Thanks to a three-way tie, this year's ASC slate features an unusual seven nominees, making for a pleasingly diverse field with one or two semi-surprises.
Emmanuel Lubezki, naturally, made the list for "Gravity," and will be largely favored to take his third ASC prize -- having previously won for "Children of Men" and "The Tree of Life." (The Academy, of course, has yet to reward him.) Sean Bobbitt scored his first nod for another Best Picture frontrunner, "12 Years a Slave." ("American Hustle," meanwhile, missed the cut, interrupting its hitherto perfect Guild record.)
Bruno Delbonnel, who has taken some key critics' wins for "Inside Llewyn Davis," picked up his third nomination -- he won the ASC's 2004 award for "A Very Long Engagement." And ASC favorite Roger Deakins, who won last year for "Skyfall," nabs his 12th nod for "Prisoners," upping his chances of scoring yet another fruitless Oscar nomination in the category.
Phedon Papamichael, previously recognized by the ASC for his small-screen work, was nominated for his black-and-white lensing of "Nebraska," following on from a surprise BAFTA nod this morning. And Barry Ackroyd, previously nominated for "The Hurt Locker," made the list for his typically brisk, no-nonsense shooting of "Captain Phillips."
Finally, and perhaps least expectedly, Frenchman Philippe Le Sourd was cited for his ravishing work on Wong Kar-wai's foreign Oscar hopeful "The Grandmaster" -- the first time one of Wong's films, always reliably gorgeous, has been recognized by the guild. I've been predicting a wild-card Oscar nod for Le Sourd all along; here's hoping he shows up in next week's announcement.
The full list:
Barry Ackroyd, "Captain Phillips"
Philippe Le Sourd, "The Grandmaster"
Emmanuel Lubezki, "Gravity"
Bruno Delbonnel, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Phedon Papamichael, "Nebraska"
Roger Deakins, "Prisoners"
Sean Bobbitt, "12 Years a Slave"
The winner will be announced at the ASC's awards ceremony on February 1.