The LAMB Devours The Oscars: Cinematography

by Lucien · February 13, 2014 · LAMB Devours the Oscars · 1 Comment
Editor’s note: This is part of a 37-part series dissecting the 86th Academy Awards, brought to you by the Large Association of Movie Blogs and its assorted members. Nearly every day leading up to the Oscars, at least one new post written by a different LAMB will be published, each covering a different category  of the Oscars. Also, every Best Picture and Best Director nominee gets its own post. To read the other posts regarding this event, please click here. Thank you, and enjoy!



This year’s slate of nominees for Best Cinematography is a varied bunch, reflecting the diverse styles of photography being used today. The field includes The Grandmaster, Gravity, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Prisoners. Read on to find out what made them so special:
The Grandmaster Zhang ZiyiShot by Phillippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster is the only foreign language film in the field.This biopic of Ip Man is one of the most visually appealing films of the year. It has excellent production design and costumes (for which it recieved an Oscar nomination) but the most impressive technical feat is its cinematography. This film is primarily set indoors and/or in the darkness of night, so it requires a unique expertise in lighting to bring forth the action of its plot. Most impressive are the scenes in the rain or snow, challenging Le Sourd to capture so many elements in the image. He pulls it off to great effect, resulting in one of the most vivid, vibrant films of the year.
Chances of winning: 1%
oscarprospectsgravityThe overwhelming frontrunner in this category is undoubtedly Gravity, one of the most innovative films ever made. Blending CGI environments with its human characters, it’s one of the most immersive moviegoing experiences of the year. The famed cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki truly outdid himself, with jawdropping POV shots, and the thrill of whirling camera movements. As a film set in space, it’s also remarkable for its breathtaking images of earth. Lubezki has been nominated a 6 times before and looks like he’ll finally get his well-deserved recognition for the outstanding achievement of Gravity.
Chances of winning: 89%
o-INSIDE-LLEWYN-DAVIS-TRAILER-facebookOne of the most unique contenders is Inside Llewyn Davis. For this melancholic film by the Coen brothers, Bruno Delbonnel uses a color palette that’s not quite black and white, but far from technicolor. It perfectly captures the sombre mood of the character and the wintry environs of the setting.
Chances of winning: 2%
NebraskaCinematographyBlack and white comedies made a big comeback this year, with films like Frances Ha, Much Ado About Nothing and Oscar nominee Nebraska taking full advantage of its nostalgic appeal. For Nebraska in particular, Phedon Papamichael seemed to be paying homage to the great Robert Surtees (mainly “The Last Picture Show”) with his stark compositions. His compositions are alternately muted and bright, just like the tone of the film.

Chances of winning: 2%

prisoners1Last but certainly not least is Roger Deakins, this time nominated for his work on Prisoners. Like his previous films, Deakins displays his knack for capturing evocative silhouettes, shadows and purposeful intrusions of light. Prisoners is a cold, sinister film and its sense of dread is largely due to Deakins’ fine work.

Chances of winning: 2%


One Response to The LAMB Devours The Oscars: Cinematography

  1. The Vern says:

    The Grand Master had my interest because of Wong Kar Wai and now with this nomination its one Im sad I missed in theaters. Great post

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