Posts tagged “Best Cinematography

92nd Academy Awards Recap

So most years when I write this article, I talk about how good I feel, how nice it is for the crunch of awards season to be over. But honestly, I’ve been relaxed for about a week. I finished my picks and all that stuff last Sunday night after BAFTAs. I proofread it Monday morning, and really all I did between then and now was maybe tweak a ranking or two (none of which ended up actually mattering in the end, which we’ll get to). And they shortened the time span this year, so the whole thing went pretty quickly and didn’t drag on at all. And now here we are, with the entire rest of February to go. This is weird, but also kinda great.

I’ll straight up say it — I put like no effort into this year’s awards. I kept putting off having to actually think about everything until all the results were in. I thought harder about what would be nominated than I did about this. There was only about three weeks between nominations and the awards, so I just let the results come to me and once they were all in, sat down and went, “Yup, that all looks about right,” and let the picks essentially make themselves and didn’t worry all too much about it.

And for most of the night, it sure looked like I might only get one category wrong of all the 24. That didn’t happen, but I still did insanely well (sorry to spoil it at the top, but I did). But man, for a while I thought, “There’s no way I’m gonna do well on this. I feel like I’m phoning this one in.” Because most of the choices were so obvious and I didn’t agonize over them like I normally would. So I figured it had to just be that I was wrong. Or maybe I’ve just done this so long that I’ve learned that I don’t have to spend much time thinking about it all. Which is kinda freeing.

Anyway, let’s recap the Oscars, so we can finally put 2019 to rest and close out the decade in film (sort of).
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The B+ Oscar Ballot 2019: The Cheat Sheet

So this is the quick version of the giant article I posted this morning. The Oscars are on in two hours, and just so you don’t have to go back and reference the giant article if you don’t want to (though you should, there are nice colors and gifs and everything, and I put some real effort into it), I’m giving you the abridged version of it all.

I used to do this in two articles, but I’m just gonna do it in one, since I always put the rankings here anyway, so I’ll just make that section my official ‘Scorecard’ entry for this year. (And if you don’t know what that is, go read the big article. It’ll explain it. And it’s something I recommend you start doing if you’re serious about trying to guess Oscar winners. It’s so much better than just a straight ballot.)

Anyway, here’s your Oscar cheat sheet for later on: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: Guide to the 92nd Academy Awards

It’s Oscar night, folks.

I’ve done this enough to know what’s about to happen. You all want my picks for what’s gonna win because I’m the person you know who’s stupid enough to actually put real thought into this whole charade and generally am right about all this stuff, and I like talking about this nonsense. So we have the trade-off… I write a lot and you pretend to read it while skipping down to what I picked.

We all know the drill — I’m gonna ramble for 24 categories, try to make sense of it all, eventually decide “fuck it” and leave it to chance, then I’m gonna go get drunk and eat Chinese food and watch the ceremony. Everybody has their traditions.

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Oscars 2019 Category Breakdown: Best Cinematography

Here’s how this works: every day leading up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. The goal is to both familiarize everyone with the category itself (how it works, what its history is and how you go about figuring out what’s gonna win) while also making it easier to reference when I write my giant article with picks and everything. A lot of the leg work is already here. But really, the goal is to see if there’s anything to look for leading into Oscar night that could be a shortcut to me picking the category.

What we do is — I give you all the winners of the category throughout history, go over all the recent trends if there are any, discuss the precursors and whether or not they matter, and then we talk about this year’s category and how we got to it, and then just look at where we are and rank the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning (at the current moment in time. Of course, things can and will change going into the ceremony). It’s all pretty simple. I’ve done this every year. Everyone should know the drill.

Today is Best Cinematography, which is now officially the ‘Oh, wait, we’re actually giving these to Deakins now?’ award. (more…)


Oscars 2019: ASC Awards

Okay, final award. ASC. Cinematography.

And if you didn’t think they were gonna give it to Roger Deakins for 1917, you’re high. He’s been nominated at the guild 16 times, one more time than he’s been nominated for an Oscar. He’s won four other times, for Shawshank in 1994, The Man Who Wasn’t There in 2001, Skyfall in 2012 and Blade Runner in 2017. His five wins at ASC ties him with Emmanuel Lubezki for most all-time, ahead of Conrad fucking Hall.

And did I mention — it’s Roger fucking Deakins shooting a war movie to look like it was done in a single take. He’s going to win the Oscar.

Remember eight years ago when we couldn’t buy him an Oscar? Now he’s just flexing his muscles and winning these things like it’s nothing. I love it.

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Oscars 2019: ASC Nominations

The American Society of Cinematographers announced their nominees today. With them as the guild, we’ll get BAFTA nominees soon and we have BFCA nominees already. Between the three, we’ll figure out the category.

As a reminder, BFCA nominated 1917, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Joker, The Lighthouse and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Which will be important in a second, because here are the ASC nominees:

Best Cinematography

1917

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Joker

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (more…)


91st Academy Awards Recap

This is the most relaxed moment of the year for me. This is the day your thesis is turned in and all the work is done. At this point, Oscar season isn’t particularly stressful for me, but it’s a culmination of two-plus months of thinking about this stuff. And it’s been something going up every single day since December. Now, it’s all over, and the books are closed.

I wish I could say I’m remotely shocked by anything that happened. But no. This all went about how I expected it to. A couple of minor surprises here and there, but nothing that far from the realm of expectation. At one point throughout the night I remember remarking to a friend, “Bohemian Rhapsody has won every award it was nominated for. It has four awards and Black Panther has three. Which is the most Academy thing ever. ‘Look at us, we’re inclusive! (But also we’re still us.)” Honestly, how could anyone be surprised at the way things turned out? I mean, I never am because I’m so deep into this shit I’ve figured out every possible permutation for how things could have gone. So to me, this is all, “Yup, yup, yup, oh that won there, which means this will win here and it won’t win there.” I was calling out three categories ahead when they announced a new one. That’s where I’m at. I’m almost incapable of being surprised by all this. That’s why I do the Scorecard ballot thing now.

Anyway, let’s recap what happened and close the book on 2018. (more…)


The 91st Academy Awards Scorecard Ballot

So this is what I do now. This Oscar Scorecard. Which grades me on how well I pick entire categories over just winners.

The way the Scorecard Ballot works is, you take every category and rank all the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning. If the nominee ranked #1 wins, you get 1 point. 2 points for a #2, 3 points for a #3 and so on. A perfect score would be a 24 (meaning your #1s in every category won). Ties make things confusing, but it’s only happened 6 times in 89 years, so let’s just figure that won’t happen and deal with it if it does.

Ideally, most people get between 16/24 and 18/24 each year. I try to get between 18/24 and 20/24. So, of the categories you get wrong (say 7, for argument’s sake)… you want your #2 to win, so that way you’re only +7 over the minimum of 24. It’s like golf. Okay, sure, some #3s can win. It happens. But only like two. Then you’re +9. That’s reasonable. To me, a good year on the Scorecard ballot is a +6. +8 is fine, +10 isn’t great, but acceptable, and the higher you go, the worse you dod.

It’s more interesting to me, since I’m about the all-around analysis than just straight up winners. To me, the words “that’s a #4” mean something. To most people, they don’t. So this is my way of quantifying that specificity.

So, for those of you who wanna try a Scorecard Ballot for this year, here is mine for the upcoming ceremony:

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The B+ Oscar Ballot 2018: The Quick Picks

My giant Oscar Ballot article went up already, but for those of you who only pretend to care about me and really only care about my picks, here we are. This is the Cliff Notes version to that article.

Very simply: what should be on your ballot, what will win if that doesn’t win, what’s on my ballot, what my preference is for full transparency, what the likelihood of each nominee winning is, and a brief analysis of the category.

Here’s your Oscar cheat sheet: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: Guide to the 91st Academy Awards

It’s Oscar night, folks. You know what that means.

I hope he does that every single day.

This is like, the one night a year where this site has a purpose. This started as an Oscar site and that’s still pretty much its bread and butter. That and movie recommendations. But I started this site with the Oscar Quest, and this article remains my extension of it. I write up all the categories, talk about what my favorites are and what I would vote for. And I also analyze all the categories and talk about how I think the night is gonna go based on all my experience doing this and my insane knowledge and research into this stuff. There’s way more information here than you need here, but this is my only excuse to be able to get it all out there, because when the hell else do I get to talk about this stuff? (more…)


Oscars 2018: ASC Awards

The ASC Awards were handed out last night.

Cold War won.

I’m not overly surprised, since the major competition was Alfonso Cuaron, who is by and large a director, and not a pure cinematographer. And ASC is not exactly perfect when it comes to being an Oscar prognosticator. So this doesn’t really change where the Oscar map lies just yet, but it does confirm that Cold War is the likely second choice behind Roma, barring what the BAFTAs do later on.

I don’t really think A Star Is Born, Never Look Away or The Favourite really has a huge shot at the moment. So it seems like it’s still Roma’s to lose, unless BAFTA goes a different way. So we’ll see.

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Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Cinematography

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Cinematography, which we kinda went over when we did Foreign Language Film a few days ago. Because it’s almost the same category as that one. (more…)


Oscars 2018: ASC Nominations

We’ll go to ASC next, because it’s one category and only five nominees. And also because I love cinematography.

Here are your 2018 American Society of Cinematographers nominees:

Best Cinematography

Cold War

The Favourite

First Man

Roma

A Star Is Born (more…)


90th Academy Awards Recap

That’s another Oscar season in the books. I won’t lie — this was the hardest one I’ve ever had. Not in terms of picking and all that (because, spoiler alert: I did fucking great), but in terms of everything else. I honestly didn’t think I was gonna make it through to the end. I barely got my nominations picks done in time. I don’t even remember much of anything I wrote on here since early January. With the amount of stuff that was going on, I’m honestly surprised it all got done. Fortunately the one thing I was able to put some thought into since January was the giant picks article, which, as you’ll see… worked out pretty well. I will let a lot of things fall apart, but I won’t let you guys go into your Oscar pool unprepared.

Anyway, these 90th Academy Awards are in the books, and overall, while an entertaining night, and one that didn’t feel as slow as some other years (even during the segments that slowed the show down), not a particularly surprising one. So much of the night felt exactly like it was meant to go. And the moments where I was wrong, I knew what would win instead.

There’s not a whole lot for me to say about these awards. Or maybe that’s just the exhaustion talking, knowing it’s finally all over. Who’s to say, really? Let’s find out together, shall we? (more…)


The 90th Academy Awards Scorecard Ballot

So rather than just do that plain old “guessing winners” thing, I’ve decided to make my Oscar picking more complicated. Rather than having a score out of 24, I’ve now also begun doing this, which grades me on how well I can pick an entire category and not just the winner.

The way the Scorecard Ballot works is, you take every category and rank all the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning. If the nominee ranked #1 wins, you get 1 point. 2 points for a #2, 3 points for a #3 and so on. A perfect score would be a 24 (meaning your #1s in every category won). Ties make things confusing, but it’s only happened 6 times in 89 years, so let’s just figure that won’t happen and deal with it if it does.

Ideally, most people get between 16/24 and 18/24 each year. I try to get between 18/24 and 20/24. So, of the categories you get wrong (say 7, for argument’s sake)… you want your #2 to win, so that way you’re only +7 over the minimum of 24. It’s like golf. Okay, sure, some #3s can win. It happens. But only like two. Then you’re +9. That’s reasonable. To me, a good year on the Scorecard ballot is a +6. +8 is fine, +10 isn’t great, but acceptable, and the higher you go, the worse you dod.

It’s more interesting to me, since I’m about the all-around analysis than just straight up winners. To me, the words “that’s a #4” mean something. To most people, they don’t. So this is my way of quantifying that specificity.

So, for those of you who wanna try a Scorecard Ballot for this year, here is mine for the upcoming ceremony: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: The Quick Picks

I put up my giant article already, but for those of you who don’t respect me (or, thinking positive, those of you who already ready it and just wanted the cheat sheet version), here’s everything I think you should take and what I’m taking in a much simpler version. Not only do I give you the extended editions, but I’m also giving you the cliff notes. (What a guy, right?)

I’ll also, in about twenty minutes, put up my Scorecard ballot for easy reference as well. That is, for those of you who wanna attempt that way of picking the Oscars. (The rankings here are not the same as my Scorecard ballot, FYI.)

Anyway, here they are, the quick picks for the 90th Academy Awards: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: Guide to the 90th Academy Awards

Ever like something so much you’d do it for free? Hi, I’m Mike DiPrisco and I’m here to talk to you about Match.com…

Admit it, that was funny.

But really, though. I’m so into the Oscars I’m about to give you 48,000 words of shit you don’t need, and the kind of analysis that, if this were sports, people would make you pay for. And I’m doing it purely out of the goodness of my own insanity. (Mostly because otherwise no one would listen to it.)

You know all those texts you guys have been sending me the past couple weeks? Well, this is all the shit I’ve got stored up that I didn’t tell you about when I answered you. If all you wanted was what I thought was gonna win — here’s way more of that than you ever needed. And if all you wanted was for me to help you win your Oscar pool, then well… same. Though I’m also helping tens of other people do the same thing, so let’s hope you don’t know anyone else who reads this site.

I’m not so much giving you all the answers (because I don’t have all the answers) as much as I’m giving you all the information you need to make the most informed decision about what you think is going to win, and helping you along with what I, your friendly neighborhood ne’er-do-well, think will win. In a way, you might say I’m giving you all the clues.

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Oscars 2017 Category Breakdown: Best Cinematography

Every year, as we lead up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the category; what the trends are, how the guilds and stuff help (or don’t), etc. I also do it as a precursor to my giant Oscar ballot. I get most of the heavy lifting out of the way here, so that way when I get to the article, I’m just kind of riffing on how I think it’ll turn out and talking myself into all the bad decisions. It’s like college. And this is the pregame.

How these articles work is — I give you all the previous winners and nominees of each of the categories, then tell you how accurate each of the respective guilds and precursors are in what they vote for versus what wins the Oscar, tell you how each of them voted this year, then give you this year’s category, along with a quick rundown of how we ended up with that category (what was a surprise, etc). After that, I rank each of this year’s nominees in terms of how I see them right now in terms of their likelihood to win. Which is nothing more than my perception (notice that underline, even though you won’t) of how the category seems at the moment based on everything I know and have seen. Which will give you a general sense of the favorites.

Today is Best Cinematography, aka the Is This Finally Roger Deakins’ Year Award. (more…)


Oscars 2017: ASC Awards

The American Society of Cinematographers announced their awards tonight. Roger Deakins won it for Blade Runner 2049.

Before we get all excited about how this makes him a favorite for the Oscar, know that this is his fourth ASC win (after Shawshank, The Man Who Wasn’t There and Skyfall), and he has exactly zero Oscar wins to show for it. So let’s not jump the gun on this one just yet. I’ve had my heart broken many times on the Deakins train, and I’m not about to let my hopes get dashed yet again without having all the facts.

Him winning is a big step in the right direction, however, ASC is not scripture when it comes to Oscar winners. Just last year, ASC gave their award to Lion, when it was La La Land that ultimately won the Oscar. ASC is only 6 out of the past 10 years and 9 of the past 20. So it’s not over yet. BAFTA announces tomorrow, and that’ll be a big help if he wins that on top of this and the BFCA award he’s already won.

Right now, I count him, Hoyte van Hoytema for Dunkirk and Dan Lautsen for Shape of Water as the three favorites to win. (Mudbound has almost no shot, unfortunately, as does Darkest Hour.) So if BAFTA goes Deakins’ way too, I’ll be real interested to see how this one turns out on Oscar night.

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Oscars 2017: ASC Nominations

The American Society of Cinematographers announced their nominees this year. Not a whole lot to say in the way of prologue — this is the big Cinematography precursor. This, BFCA and BAFTA are all we’re gonna get to figure it out. And this year, you’re basically guaranteed to get two of the nominees right. So really, I think you can probably cobble four, no-problem, and then be reasonably sure about the fifth.

Your 2017 ASC nominees are:

Blade Runner 2049

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Mudbound

The Shape of Water (more…)


89th Academy Awards Recap

I’d like to remind everyone that it’s a wonderful thing to be reminded that we really don’t know shit. From the start of last night, I saw how badly I was doing and was going to do could not have been more happy about it. There’s something so reassuring about that. Knowing amazing things could happen that you weren’t anticipating. Knowing that in the end, nothing happens according to plan and that life throws you curveballs constantly.

It’s not what I’d have picked, and it’s not what I thought would happen, but I love everything that happened last night. All the way down the line. I loved everything about it. (more…)


The 89th Academy Awards Scorecard

This is my new measuring stick for how well I’m doing guessing the Oscars. Rather than simply being right or wrong, this is about how well you can guess everything.

What you do is take every category and rank all the nominees in terms of their likelihood of winning. If the nominee ranked #1 wins, you get 1 point. If #2 wins, you get 2 points. And you tally everything up. A perfect score would be a 24 (meaning your #1 in every category won). The only time it could be confusing is if a tie happens, but in 88 years it’s only happened six times. So we’ll deal with that should the situation arise.

Really what this does is interest someone like me, who likes to take an entire category and actually parse through what spot each of the nominees is in.  To me, the words “that’s a #4” mean something. This is my way of quantifying that.

So here is my Scorecard Ballot for this year: (more…)


The B+ Oscar Ballot: 2016 – The Quick Picks

The giant ballot article went up this morning, and for those who don’t want to have to skim through that, here’s a cliff notes version for easy reference. This is everything you should be taking, and what I’m taking.

And in a bit, I’ll post my Scorecard as well, for those looking to attempt that as well. (Note: The rankings here my not be the ones I put on my Scorecard.)

Here are the quick picks for the 89th Academy Awards: (more…)


The B+ Movie Blog Guide to the 89th Academy Awards

This is what you’ve all been texting me about for the past two weeks. This is all the info you wanted so you could win your Oscar pool. I probably should charge for this. But I’m stupid. So here you are. Hope you’re not all in the same pools!

As is always the case, in order to get the simple answers — what I think is gonna win and what you should pick — you have to deal with all the extra shit that only I’m interested in. But you know, at least I’m having fun, right?

Simply guessing the Oscars used to be fun for me. Betting people dinner in college if they could outguess me. (They couldn’t.) Now I’m on some next level shit. I’m not even about picking winners anymore. Now I’m all about picking nominees, and diagnosing the categories. I’m on a whole other scale of grading myself. Which means I’m gonna write a whole lot of nonsense here, and you can read as much or as little of it as you want. I make it as easy for you to ignore me as you possibly can. And then you have to live with yourself, you callous monster.

This article is both my personal ballot (an extension of all my Oscar Quest articles) and a full on analysis of Oscar night for everyone. That’s really the part you’re here for. You don’t care what I think. You wanna know what’s gonna win. (more…)