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It's Lucky Number Seven for the ASC

Jose here. As if this year wasn’t already complicated enough in terms of finding "the one" frontrunner (don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining!), now the American Society of Cinematographers has gone and made matters worse (in a totally beautiful way) by having their first three-way tie in history which led to a whopping seven nominees for their Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in a Theatrical Release Award. Joining usual suspects 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis were much less “obvious” choices including The Grandmaster (which our friend Michael has been championing) and Prisoners (which is kinda obvious...) and before anyone screams "American Hustle was snubbed!", remember that none of Russell's movies have ever been nominated for a cinematography award by either ASC or AMPAS. 

The full list of nominees:

• Sean Bobbitt, for 12 Years a Slave
• Barry Ackroyd, for Captain Phillips
• Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster
• Emmanuel Lubezki, for Gravity
• Bruno Delbonnel, for Inside Llewyn Davis
• Phedon Papamichael, for Nebraska
• Roger Deakins, for Prisoners

So far, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis have been racking up the critics awards in this category, so it’s interesting to see what an actual guild has to say. We could say that five of these will be our Oscar nominees, especially since the ASC and Oscar rarely agree in their nominees or awards (in 27 years only 10 ASC winners have gone on to win the Oscar).

TRIVIA and more after the jump!

With this, his 12th nomination, Roger Deakins is the most nominated cinematographer in the ASC’s history. He won his third last year for Skyfall but after 10 Oscar nominations has still to win one of theirs.

Emmanuel Lubezki has been nominated four times for this award and has won twice already. Unlike AMPAS which has been favoring CGI cinematography for the past four years in a row (as Nathaniel rightfully has pointed out) the ASC award in three of those corresponding years has gone to a more traditionally shot film, which might mean Lubezki isn’t the favorite to win here.

This could mean that if Deakins is nominated for Prisoners (and history says he will, since Oscar's only snubbed him once for a corresponding ASC nod for Revolutionary Road), we would have a showdown between the two arguably greatest living DPs. The edge is on Lubezki though, because well, Best Picture nominees usually take this award.

In 2004 and 2009 the ASC Award went to A Very Long Engagement and The White Ribbon respectively, which - one would think - might bode well for Philippe Le Sourd and The Grandmaster...but during the last fifteen years Oscar also gave its its Cinematography award to foreign movies twice: to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Pan’s Labyrinth, which wasn’t nominated by the ASC. 

This is the first time Bruno Delbonnel has been nominated by the ASC for his work in an English speaking film. AMPAS recognized his work in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The ASC winner will be announced February, 1, 2014.

Winners will be announced February 1st.

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Reader Comments (19)

I know complaining about someone not getting a double nomination isn't really legit (spread the wealth!) but Lubezki did such incredible work in To the Wonder (far superior to almost anything here except Gravity and maybe ILD, and certainly better than Nebraska) that I wish he could get in for both.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I wonder what Roger Deakins would think if Bruno Delbonnel wins an Oscar for a Coen Brothers film.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I saw Nebraska yesterday and one of the things I loved about it was the cinematography. I hope that it gets an Oscar nomination. After all, it get in at the Baftas.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobMiles

7 nominees and no love for Benoît Debie? Not happy.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

This is going to be a tough category. They even ignored Hoyte van Hoytema's gorgeous work on "Her."

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Seeing The Grandmaster here is giving me LIFE. That is one seriously beautiful film, from first shot to last. I actually wouldn't be upset if this beat Gravity.

I still don't quite get the love for Delbonnel's work on Llewyn Davis, though.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I'm so disappointed that All is Lost isn't doing better. I do like most of the prospective nominees this year, though. And at least Dallas Buyers Club won't be a factor in this category.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

A lot of these I haven't seen, but I'm thrilled for Nebraska and 12 Years. And Deakins did great work--one of the best things about Prisoners

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

this is just kind of a reminder that awards voters just don't see many movies or dont have a wide range of taste. I mean i just can't understand how people who understand cinematography can see HER or SPRING BREAKERS nd not think "OMG"... because they wipe the floor with so many of these. ;) not that any of them are bad looking films but still...

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I'm hoping The Grandmaster can break through into the Top 5. Gorgeous film. Still think it's Gravity/Llewyn Davis/12 Years A Slave/Nebraska/Captain Phillips.

I think Barry Ackroyd, although not even close to his work in Corialanus or The Hurt Locker should be commended for shooting that whole film on water. That's an impressive technical feat that I am surprised nobody is talking about. Then again, it's not like Sony to not do the little things in maximizing their films' awards potential.

Speaking of double-nods. Bobbitt also was DP for The Place Beyond the Pines. For all the problems I have with that film, it's gorgeously photographed.

Anyway, it's an outstanding year for cinematography. I just hope it won't be like last year where some of the best shot films (The Master/Zero Dark Thirty/Killing Them Softly) got ignored.

Raul- Probably what Barry Sonnenfeld feels whenever he hears about Deakins being talked about as if he was the only ever DP for a Coens film.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Suzanne -- yeah, i thought that might have more traction in a number of categories, but nope.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I don't get the nod for Captain Phillips... it was grainy and I made me nauseous. Was that the intended effect?

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

It's too bad the ASC doesn't do a low-budget or indie category, to give a chance to reward films that don't have the photography budget of the likes of Gravity and Captain Phillips.

I'd love to see a nod for Frances Ha, Place Beyond the Pines or Spring Breakers.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

3 way tie for first = 7 nominations? Don't the ASC realise that a 3 way tie for first simply means there is a no second place and no third place nominees????

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermatt

Matt -- right? unless the 5th nomination is the tied one, why would there be more than 5 nominees.

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Nathaniel - is that the reason why the Golden Globes sometimes had six nominees in one category? I've always wondered. They only have about 80 voting members if I recall correctly, so it doesn't seem that unlikely...

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDominik

I am assuming there is a 3-way tie for fifth, not first. Does it say otherwise somewhere?

Very glad that Grandmaster got a nomination here. I really hope the movie picked up one (hopefully more) Oscar nominations.

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterkin

I think it says it's the first time they have a three-way tie. It means three films are in the fifth place.

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterhorace

Ugh, count me as one who doesn't get the Nebraska love for that cinematography. Just because it's shot in b+w doesn't mean it's good and it reeks of people just name-checking it because of that very element. The White Ribbon-level standout b+w this is not!

And I'd agree with John T, I'm all for Lubezki scoring a second nod for To The Wonder, a film who's pristine and inspired gorgeousness elevated everything around it, including the simplistic story. Hope Malick sent him a bouquet of flowers or something. I'm hoping we get surprised on nomination morning and it just adds to his coronation this year.

I'd love to see Barry Ackroyd replaced with The Grandmaster, if only because one is more crucial to the story and Ackroyd has done better work elsewhere.

The following...

• Sean Bobbitt, for 12 Years a Slave
• Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster
• Emmanuel Lubezki, for Gravity
• Bruno Delbonnel, for Inside Llewyn Davis
• Roger Deakins, for Prisoners

...make the most sense as nominees when you take everything into account, including their flair for sole film nods. That said, I'd love to see To The Wonder, Spring Breakers (for all the talk/buzz of Franco, they might shock us with this instead), Her or a farewell nod to Harris Savides but that seems unlikely at this point.

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

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