The American Society for Cinematographers (ASC) has recently announced its nominations for 2011. The nominees are Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist), Jeff Cronenweth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Robert Richardson (Hugo), Hoyte van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life). Van Hoytema’s inclusion in this esteemed group may come as a surprise because Thomas Alfredon’s Kubrickian adaptation of John Le Carré’s eponymous novel has been largely disregarded in the awards race. But the film’s subtle, meticulously composed cinematography imbues the film with a dense historical aesthetic, which makes it undoubtedly deserving of this honor.
The obvious omission from this list is Janusz Kaminski’s work on Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, which boasts lush, classical Hollywood colors. War Horse is generally seen as a strong awards contender, and Kaminski’s vibrant photography is one of the film’s notable characteristics. But he is no longer a member of the organization which automatically renders him ineligible for a nomination.
The Artist and Hugo are currently considered the frontrunners for this year’s awards festivities. But the other nominees on the ASC shortlist are not to be neglected. Emmanuel Lubezki, for example, has been recognized by the New York Film Critics Circle for his work on The Tree of Life. The award ceremony, to be held on February 12, will thus prove interesting and exciting, and it can certainly be regarded as an indicator for the Academy Awards.