Reference – ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) – BFCA (Broadcast Film Critics Association)
- 1 – Mank (Netflix) – ASC, BAFTA, BFCA – Erik Messerschmidt
- 2 – Nomadland (Searchlight) – ASC, BAFTA, BFCA – Joshua James Richards
- 3 – News of the World (Universal Pictures) – ASC, BAFTA, BFCA – Dariusz Wolski
- 4 – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros) – BAFTA – Sean Bobbitt
- 5 – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix) – ASC – Phedon Papamichael
*Winners in bold.
I’m sorry to have to do this, but I now think the odds are more in ‘Mank’s’ favour for a cinematography win. I thought this for a long while until ‘Nomadland’ came along and stirred things up. If ‘Nomadland’ won ASC I’d predict it for the Oscar as it would have all the precursors. But now it doesn’t, and I’m predicting a downfall for ‘Nomadland’ in this category. However, I do have my reasons.
Whilst ‘Nomadland’ is a gorgeous movie, it’s not showy and I wonder how important this is for voting. Individual branches vote for their branch, but all branches vote on all the categories. It’s why EXTREMELY RARELY do we get a tie as there is a huge number of voters, and it is also one of the reasons why we sometimes get unworthy winners in particular categories (‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ in editing and sound editing being a fantastic example). Therefore, I wonder if the Academy voters will think ‘Nomadland’ or ‘Mank’ is the more ‘cinematography’ film, as they often go by this logic when voting, e.g. more cuts means better editing, the loudest movie means best the best sound. If this is their logic, then they will most likely vote ‘Mank’.
Friend of MCDI Erik Anderson from AwardsWatch also wrote a great article where he gives us the stat that only two movies have won cinematography without a Production Design nomination. It shows that maybe when voting for this category, voters are looking for an environment in which the film is shot in, and what is looking extremely likely to win Production Design?!?!
I honestly don’t mind if either film wins, they both have great cinematography for different reasons: ‘Mank’ has a great throwback feel to the early ages of cinema, and ‘Nomadland’ is simply gorgeous. I still think ‘Nomadland’ can win, but the ASC win, along with my worries on how voters approach voting and the Production Design stat makes me tilt slightly towards ‘Mank’ being victorious.