Time to finish out the technical categories with breakdowns of both the Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing categories. These people have a serious impact on carrying out the director’s vision both when it’s being shot and when shooting has wrapped and the scenes are actually being turned into a movie.
Best Achievement in Cinematography
- “Anna Karenina” – Seamus McGarvey
- “Django Unchained” – Robert Richardson
- “Life of Pi” – Claudio Miranda
- “Lincoln” – Janusz Kaminski
- “Skyfall” – Roger Deakins
Cinematographers tend to be the most decorated by the Academy over their careers. They get a lot of recognition if they do good work. Last year’s winner was “Hugo” D.P. Robert Richardson, who received his eighth nomination for Django Unchained this year, his second for collaborating with Quentin Tarantino. Richardson has won three times, but “Django” doesn’t compare with the other nominees in this category.
You’ve probably heard of Steven Spielberg’s longtime D.P. Janusz Kaminski, who received his sixth nomination (and he’s won twice). Lincoln is some of his finest work with Spielberg since the ’90s and it would be a worthy win if there weren’t more visually dazzling options.
This category has veered away from traditional films lately with wins for “Hugo,” “Inception” and “Avatar” the last three years. Despite how much gorgeous work Seamus McGarvey has done for Joe Wright, that makes Anna Karenina unlikely as a period piece.
Skyfall would be an unusual choice in terms of the type of film the Academy recognizes, but with five Oscar nominations, it’s clear that this isn’t any old Bond movie. If it wins, Roger Deakins will finally win an Oscar after 10 nominations. He’s earned it and “Skyfall” is deserving work.
But Life of Pi seems to better fit the Academy’s taste. So it comes down to whether Academy voters recognize Deakins deserves a win, or if they want to vote for the year’s best cinematography.
Prediction: Life of Pi
Best Achievement in Film Editing
- “Argo” – William Goldenberg
- “Life of Pi” – Tim Squyres
- “Lincoln” – Michael Kahn
- “Silver Linings Playbook” – Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers
- “Zero Dark Thirty” – William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor
You gotta like the chances for William Goldenberg, who clearly helped make both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty two of the year’s most exciting films. If he wins, it will likely be for “Argo” given that it has more of the Oscar momentum right now.
David O. Russell did some unexpected things with Silver Linings Playbook, otherwise you wouldn’t see a romantic drama in the mix in this category.
Life of Pi looks like it could make a nice run in the technical awards, much like Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which won four awards, but Best Film Editing was not one of them, also for Tim Squyres.
Michael Kahn is the most decorated of the group, with three wins for Spielberg films, but Lincoln really appears to be the unlucky film this year despite all its acclaim. So many films this year stood out for their technical prowess; “Lincoln” isn’t the same marvel as “Pi” or even films like “Skyfall” and “Anna Karenina.” If “Lincoln” should steal away technical awards, you can put it at the top of the Best Picture contender list.