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A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Joseph L. Mankiewicz |||
Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Mankiewicz directed 20 films in a 26-year period, and was very successful at every kind of film, from Shakespeare to western, drama to musical, epics to two-character pictures, and regardless of the genre, he was known as a witty dialogist, a master in the use of flashback and a talented actors' director.

The 1950 Oscar for Best Picture and Screenplay brought Mankiewicz wide recognition as a writer and a director, with his sardonic look at show business glamour and the empty lives behind it. This well orchestrated cast of brilliant and catty character actors is built around veteran actress Bette Davis and Anne Baxter as her understudy desperate for stardom.

One of Mankiewicz’ more intimate films, this highly regarded and major artistic achievement is a spirited romantic comedy set in England of the 1880’s about a widow who moves into a haunted seashore house and resists the attempts of a sea captain specter to scare her away. This is a pleasing and poignant romance that is equally satisfying as a good old ghost story.

Mankiewicz wrote and directed this witty dissection of matrimony that has three women review the ups and downs of their marriages (with all its romance, fears and foibles) after receiving a letter telling them that one of their husbands has been unfaithful. Once again Mankiewicz deftly utilizes the skills of a well-chosen ensemble, which includes a young Kirk Douglas at his dreamiest.

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Oscar Handicap 2014: Cinematography

By EdwardHavens

March 1st, 2014

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

Oscar Handicap 2014: Cinematography

(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) Oscar winning cinematography has come from lensers also nominated for the same award at the BAFTAs 31 of the last 35 ceremonies (88.57%). Advantage: Delbonnel, Lubezki, Papamichael
2) Shooters of stories predominantly set outside the past twenty years have won 30 of 35 (85.71%). Advantage: Delbonnel, Le Sourd
3) As long as you're not the nominee in the lowest grossing film at the time of the nominations, you've won 29 of 35 (82.86%). Advantage: Deakins, Delbonnel, Lubezki, Papamichael
4) Cinematography winners have come from films whose directors have also been nominated 28 of 35 (80%). Advantage: Lubezki, Papamichael
5) Cinematography awards have been given to films also nominated for Best Achievement in Production Design 27 of 35 (77.14%). Advantage: Lubezki
6) Winners here have come from Best Picture nominees 27 of 35 (77.14%). Advantage: Lubezki, Papamichael
7) A previous nominee for Best Cinematography has gone on to win 20 of 35 (57.14%). Advantage: Deakins, Delbonnel, Lubezki
8) The winner of the Best Cinematography Award from the American Society of Cinematographers has won here 10 of the 27 years the ASC has given out awards (37.04%). Disadvantage: Lubezki

By The Numbers
Lubezki's work in helping to create zero-gravity will likely win here, while eleven-time nominee Deakins, inarguably the greatest living cinematographer, will once again go home empty handed.
Roger Deakins, "Prisoners": -1, -2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8 (98 of 272, 36.03%)
Bruno Delbonnel, "Inside Llewyn Davis": +1, +2, +3, -4, -5, -6, +7, -8 (150 of 272, 55.15%)
Phillipe Le Sourd, "The Grandmaster": -1, +2, -3, -,4 -5, -6, -7, -8 (68 of 272, 25%)
Emmanuel Lubezki, "Gravity": +1, -2, +3, +4, +5, +6, +7, +8 (177 of 272, 65.07%)
Phedon Papamichael, "Nebraska": +1, -2, +3, +4, -5, +6, -7, -8 (116 of 272, 42.65%)


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