Oscar Handicap 2010: Cinematography

For this article, we will examine how the directors of photography stack up against each other.

(For explanations as to how our scoring system works, make sure to read our first article in the series, Best Picture of the Year, linked at the bottom of this article.)

The discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images, the Cinematographer works with the director to decide the overall look of the film. Purists have lamented the rise of digital intermediate technology, where the director and cinematographer can fine-tune the look of individual scenes and even single frames by computer, is quickly killing the fine art of cinematography, but until the Academy creates a Best DI category, this is what we’ll have to deal with.

The Breakdowns

1) Shooters of stories predominantly set in the past have won 29 of the past 31 ceremonies (93.55%). Advantage: Inglourious Basterds, The White Ribbon

2) Cinematographers nominated for the ASC Award have won the Oscar 21 of the 23 times the former’s awards have been given out (91.30%). Advantage: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, The White Ribbon

3) As long as you’re not the nominee in the lowest grossing film at the time of the nominations, you’ve won 25 of 31 times (80.65%). Advantage: Avatar, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds

4) Cinematography winners have come from films whose directors have also been nominated 24 of 31 times (77.42%). Advantage: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds

5) Cinematography winners have come from a Best Picture nominee 23 of 31 times (74.19%). Advantage: Avatar, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds

6) Cinematography awards have been given to films also nominated for Best Art Direction 23 of 31 times (74.19%). Advantage: Avatar

7) Cinematography winners who are not first-time nominees have won 17 of 31 times (54.84%). Advantage: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Inglourious Basterds

By The Numbers

Despite the ASC win for “The White Ribbon,” look for a third win in this category for master cinematographer Robert Richardson

Avatar (Mauro Fiore): -1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6, -7

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Bruno Delbonnel): -1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7

The Hurt Locker (Barry Ackroyd): -1, +2, +3, +4, +5, -6, -7

Inglourious Basterds (Robert Richardson): +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, -6, +7

The White Ribbon (Christian Berger): +1, +2, -3, -4, -5, -6, -7

Personal prediction for Best Cinematography: Inglourious Basterds

Personal favorite amongst the nominees: Inglourious Basterds

All articles in this series:

Best Picture of the Year
Best Director
Best Actor and Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
Best Cinematography
Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Feature
The Technical Categories

Share