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ASC nominations bolster 'Skyfall,' confuse Oscar race

January 09, 2013|By John Horn
  • Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in "Skyfall."
Daniel Craig stars as James Bond in "Skyfall." (Francois Duhamel / Columbia…)

Although nominations from the American Society of Cinematographers are not one of the most reliable bellwethers for the Academy Awards, Wednesday’s ASC shortlist did create some unexpected confusion in the cinematography race while bolstering the chances of a longtime Oscar bridesmaid.

Mirroring the selections made earlier in the day for the British Academy of Film and Television Awards, the ASC singled out cinematographers  Seamus McGarvey (“Anna Karenina”), Danny Cohen (“Les Miserables"), Claudio Miranda (“Life of Pi”), Janusz Kaminski (“Lincoln”) and Roger Deakins (“Skyfall”). 

To the surprise of many award prognosticators, neither the ASC nor the BAFTA voters nominated Mihai Malaimare Jr. , considered an Oscar favorite for his distinctive shooting of “The Master.” Also left off both lists were Rodrigo Prieto (“Argo”), Greig Fraser (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Wally Pfister (“The Dark Knight Rises”) and Ben Richardson (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”).

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Last year, the ASC gave its top prize to Emmanuel Lubezki for “The Tree of Life,” while the cinematography Oscar went to Guillaume Schiffman for “The Artist.”

Even though “Skyfall” is not the kind of movie that tends to get a lot of Oscar love, the latest James Bond movie is considered likely to receive some Academy Award nominations Thursday morning. The most probable “Skyfall” Oscar pick is for Deakins’ cinematography (the movie is considered a longshot for a best picture selection).

The 63-year-old Deakins has been nominated for nine Oscars without winning one statuette — for “True Grit,” “The Reader,” “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “No Country for Old Men,” “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Kundun,” “Fargo” and “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Deakins does not possess the dubious record for most Oscar nominations without a win, however. That distinction belongs to sound mixer Kevin O'Connell, who has 20 nominations without ever bringing home an Academy Award.

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