Oscars 2011 Update: American Society of Cinematographers Nominations

Another semi-big day. The American Society of Cinematographers have announced their awards nominees today.

Cinematography is, to me, one of the top awards. When I think of the Oscar categories, the ones I’m most interested in, outside of Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress, the others are Screenplay (both of them), Cinematography and Editing. Those are really the top 10 categories. And then I’m also interested in Song and Score, but that’s the musical branch, and there’s a lot of compromise there. So, while they are interesting, and I do pay attention to them, they’re not exactly top categories. (Though, really, at this point, I’m interested in just about every category that isn’t Foreign Language Film, Documentary, and all the shorts that aren’t Animated Short.)

So, here are the ASC nominations, and these will help gauge — well, several things — for when nominations are announced in thirteen days:

  • The Artist, Guillaume Schiffman
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jeff Cronenweth
  • Hugo, Robert Richardson
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Hoyte van Hoytema
  • The Tree of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki

Wow. I am very happy with this list. I believe these were my top five as well. With War Horse being the sixth for me. This is terrific. I love seeing the Tinker Tailor love.

The most interesting thing that’ll come out of this will be the fact that again War Horse is shut out. In two days, it has missed a DGA nomination and an ASC nomination. Which takes it off that internet and tradition-appointed pedestal as the frontrunner for Best Picture. Although my superstitiousness won’t allow me to out and out say it, because I know what can happen when you start to believe the Academy will actually make a great decision, but this has to point to the fact that The Artist might actually have a chance at winning, right?

Also, I wanna say — the fact that War Horse is getting shut out of all these major categories — is actually the best thing for the film. Because if the film just walked out in December, became the Best Picture favorite and then won, no one would have forgiven it. The backlash would have been severe. At least now, if it doesn’t win, then people will be able to take the film on its own merit, and will end up enjoying the film much, much more this way. That’s nice.

Still, though — I love this set of nominees. Great job, ASC. (Though, keep in mind, ASC has been awarding Roger Deakins for years, and the Academy hasn’t. So not everything is perfect. Still, though — great list.)

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