by Marshall Flores
When the 85th Academy Awards concluded, the final distribution of winners generally reflected the patterns of years past. A few won their second or third statuettes, others received their first trophies, and most walked home empty handed, some for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately, that last group included perpetual Oscar also-rans like composer Thomas Newman, sound mixer Greg P. Russell, and cinematographer Roger Deakins.
Deakins, the longtime director of photography for the Coen Brothers and a frequent collaborator of Sam Mendes, received his 10th Oscar nomination for “Skyfall.” lensing what is undoubtedly the most exquisite James Bond film ever made (I mean, seriously, that blue and black fight scene set in a Shanghai high rise gets my vote as the most beautiful fistfight ever captured on film). Deakins continued his Oscar-less streak, this time losing to Claudio Miranda (a great DP on his own right) and his incredible work for “Life of Pi.” However, he would not go home from this awards season empty-handed, as Deakins won his share of cinematography awards this year, including a third trophy from his peers at the American Society of Cinematographers.