Oscars Lowdown 2014: Best Cinematography - Does a longtime bridesmaid finally get his due?
In the lead-up to the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2, HitFix will be bringing you the lowdown on all 24 Oscar categories with multiple entries each day. Take a few notes and bone up on the competition as we give you the edge in your office Oscar pool!
We couldn't possibly cover the year in cinematography more than we already have, but to say it once more, it was a pretty astounding year for the form. Great work was left on the sidelines in this Oscar race, as the ASC couldn't even limit itself to just five nominees. True masters are at work here and I couldn't begin to complain about any of the inclusions (even if I am bummed about this or that contender that missed).
Nevertheless, it seems as though the Academy will do right by the most deserving of the year's nominees, as like in a number of below-the-line arenas this year, one film seems to be dominating the conversation.
The nominees are…
"The Grandmaster" (Philippe Le Sourd)
There's no question that Wong Kar-wai's latest is of a piece with his portfolio of work, by which I mean it's an extravagant and lush production captured with gorgeous photography. Even with the ASC nomination, though, it seemed like the film might have difficulty pushing past Best Picture players like "Captain Phillips" and "12 Years a Slave," but here it is. That's about as far as the merry-go-round is likely to go on this film (which also picked up a costume design nomination), but it's hardly alone on that front as this category has a pretty clear choice. (Check out our interview with Le Sourd here.)
"Gravity" (Emmanuel Lubezki)
That choice is "Gravity." And Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki, six nominations in, 20 years removed from his first American gig ("Reality Bites"), he's set up to finally win an Oscar. He's probably owed a couple at this stage, for "Sleepy Hollow," maybe. Certainly for "The New World," "Children of Men" and "The Tree of Life." "Gravity" is his crowning achievement to date, though, an impeccable vision against so many odds. It's a CG marvel, yes, but one with a visual identity owed completely to Lubezki, lest anyone think this win would be undeserved due to the impact of visual effects in the film. Warner Bros. has done a good job of making the technical prowess of this work stand above that fray, and by God, the man deserves it. (Check out our interview with Lubezki here.)
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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