ASC Preview and Predictions


Tomorrow the ASC nominations will be announced for feature film.  An odd thing has happened recently in the history of the ASC.  After 2006, the ASC had more of a match with Oscar’s Best Picture than previously.  But some of that is the extended Best Picture lineup. Last year, four out of five of the ASC  nominations at the Oscars were Best Picture nominees.   And the Oscar cinematography nominees were all Best Picture nominees.

To that end, my predictions:

Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
Greig Fraser, Zero Dark Thirty
Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Robert Richardson, Django Unchained
Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight Rises

The alternates for this are Skyfall — Roger Deakins, of course, and Argo.  Both of them highly likely – as you can see, Ryan and Marshall are predicting them.  Robert Richardson lensed Django, though, and Wally Pfister was nominated for both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight so I have to go with Wally again. Les Miserables is also very possible here, even though none of us is predicting it.

Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
Greig Fraser, Zero Dark Thirty
Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Roger Deakins, Skyfall
Mihai Malaimare Jr., The Master

Rodrigo Prieto – Argo
Claudio Miranda – Life of Pi
Janusz Kaminski – Lincoln
Roger Deakins – Skyfall
Greig Fraser – Zero Dark Thirty

History after the cut.

ASC Nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography:

won ASC | Won Oscar
*nominated for Best Pic
+Won Best Pic


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life The Tree of Life*
Hugo Hugo*
The Artist The Artist+
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy War Horse*


Inception Inception*
The King’s Speech The King’s Speech+
The Social Network The Social Network*
True Grit True Grit*
Black Swan Black Swan*


Avatar Avatar*
The White Ribbon The White Ribbon
Nine Harry Potter Half Blood Prince
Inglourious Basterds Inglourious Basterds*
The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker+


Roger Deakins, Revolutionary Road Tom Stern, Changeling
Claudio Miranda, …Benjamin Button Claudio Miranda, …Benjamin Button*
Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight
Roger Deakins, Chris Menges, The Reader Roger Deakins, Chris Menges, The Reader*
Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire+


Roger Deakins, Jesse James Roger Deakins, Jesse James
Roger Deakins, No Country Roger Deakins, No Country+
Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood*
Janusz Kaminski, Diving Bell Janusz Kaminski, Diving Bell
Seamus McGarvey, Atonement Seamus McGarvey, Atonement*


Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men Emmanuel Lubezki
Dick Pope, The Illusionist Dick Pope, The Illusionist
Robert Richardson, The Good Shepherd Guillermo Navarro, Pan’s Labyrinth
Deam Semler, Apocalypto Wally Pfister, The Prestige
Vilmos Zsigmond, The Black Dahlia Vilmos Zsigmond, The Black Dahlia


Batman Begins, Wally Pfister Batman Begins, Wally Pfister
Brokeback Mountain, Rodrigo Pietro Brokeback Mountain, Rodrigo Pietro*
Good Night, and Good Luck, Robert Elswit Good Night and Good Luck, Robert Elswit*
King Kong New World, Emmanuel Lubezki
Memoirs of a Geisha Memoirs of a Geisha, Dion Beebe


The Aviator* The Aviator*
Collateral House of Flying Daggers
The Passion of the Christ The Passion of the Christ
Ray* Phantom of the Opera
A Very Long Engagement A Very Long Engagement


Russell Boyd, Master and Commander Master and Commander*
Andrew Lesnie, ROTK* City of God
John Schwartzman,
John Seale, Cold Mountain Cold Mountain
John Toll, The Last Samurai Girl with the Pearl Earring


Michael Ballhaus, Gangs of New
Michael Ballhaus, Gangs of New
Pawel Edelman, The Pianist Pawel Edelman, The Pianist*
Conrad Hall, Road to
Conrad Hall, Road to
Ed Lachman, Far From Heaven Ed Lachman, Far From Heaven
Rodrigo Prieto, Frida Dione Beebe, Chicago+


Roger Deakins, Man Who Wasn’t There Roger Deakins, Man Who Wasn’t There
Bruno Delbonnel, Amelie Bruno Delbonnel, Amelie
Don McAlpine, Moulin Rouge* Don McAlpine, Moulin Rouge*
Andrew Lesnie, LOTR Andrew
Lesnie, LOTR*
John Schwartzman, ASC (“Pearl Harbor”) Slawomir Idziak – Black Hawk Down


Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Gladiator Gladiator+
O Brother, Where Art Thou? O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Patriot The Patriot
The Perfect Storm Malena


American Beauty+ American Beauty+
Snow Falling on Cedars Snow Falling On Cedars
Sleepy Hollow Sleepy Hollow
The Insider The Insider
The Sixth Sense The End Of the Affair


The Thin Red Line The Thin Red Line
Shakespeare In Love Shakespeare In Love+
Saving Private Ryan Saving Private Ryan*
Elizabeth Elizabeth*
The Horse Whisperer A Civil Action


Titanic+ Titanic+
Amistad Amistad
Kundun Kundun
L. A. Confidential L. A. Confidential*
The Boxer The Wings Of the Dove


The English
The English
Evita Evita
Fargo* Fargo*
Fly Away Home Fly Away Home
Michael Collins Michael Collins
The Ghost and The Darkness


Braveheart+ Braveheart+
Apollo 13* A Little Princess
The Bridges of Madison County Sense and Sensibility*
Batman Forever Batman Forever
Crimson Tide Shanghai Triad


Shawshank Redemption Shawshank Redemption*
Legends of the Fall Legends of the Fall
Love Affair Red
Forrest Gump Forrest Gump+
Wyatt Earp Wyatt Earp


Searching for Bobby Fischer Searching for Bobby Fischer
The Piano The Piano*
Heaven & Earth Farwell My Concubine
Schindler’s List Schindler’s List +
The Fugitive The Fugitive*


Hoffa Hoffa
A Few Good Men* The Lover
Howards End* Howards End
The Last of the Mohicans Unforgiven+
A River Runs Through It A River Runs Through It


Bugsy Bugsy*
Prince of Tides Prince of Tides*
Hook Thelma and Louise
Terminator 2 Terminator 2


Dances with Wolves Dances with Wolves+
Dick Tracy Dick Tracy
Avalon Avalon
Godfather III Godfather III*
Ghost* Henry and June


The Abyss The Abyss
The Bear The Fabulous Baker Boys
Blaze Blaze
Born on the Fourth of July* Born on the Fourth of July*
The War of the Roses Glory


Mississippi Burning Mississippi Burning*
Tequila Sunrise Tequila Sunrise
Rain Man Rain Man+
Unbearable Lightness of Being The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Dangerous Liaisons* Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


Empire of the Sun Empire of the Sun
The Last Emperor The Last Emperor+
Matewan Matewan
Someone to Watch Over Me Hope and Glory*
The Untouchables Broadcast News*


Peggy Sue Got Married Peggy Sue Got Married
The Mission The Mission*
A Room with a View A Room with a View*
Star Trek IV Star Trek IV
The Karate Kid Part II Platoon+


  1. Sam Juliano 3 years ago

    All wonderful predictions by the group.

    The featured picture is the one to beat: Claude Miranda for THE LIFE OF PI.

    He’d get my vote in a heartbeat.

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  2. Rich 3 years ago

    My pics:

    Zero Dark Thirty
    Life of Pi
    The Dark Knight Rises

    The Master may replace Dark Knight Rises.

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  3. Filipe Mourão 3 years ago

    I hope Sasha is right and TDKR gets nominated. It’s been tough for this movie until now and Pfister’s work is really stunning in my opinion. Loved Pi’s though, but I’m sure it’s gonna be recognized.

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  4. JMC 3 years ago

    Watch out for Seamus McGarvey for “Anna Karenina.” He may show up at the ASC or the Oscars.

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  5. Ryan Adams 3 years ago

    JMC, Seamus McGarvey would be my #6 alternate. Check out the feature article about Anna Karenina in the current issue of American Cinematographer.

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  6. Zach 3 years ago

    What about Beasts of the Southern Wild? Not enough? I’d consider it, but Ryan’s 5 are probably the best.

    I can remember one really good shot from Les Mis and the same for Django.

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  7. rufussondheim 3 years ago

    I’d be sad if Deakins didn’t get a nom for Skyfall. More than anything he showed versatility here, so many different scenes in so many different environments and every single one was stunningly filmed.

    Some of the stuff in Lincoln was indeed beautiful, like the shot when he was leaving the white house on his way to getting assassinated, but I didn’t think it had the variety that Skyfall has, same with The Master, beautiful work, but no variety.

    Life of Pi would also be a great winner.

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  8. steve50 3 years ago

    Life of Pi, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty are givens here, hopefully, so it depends on what they want to represent with the other two spots.

    The revered vet who’s never won an oscar (Deakins/Skyfall) would be a logical fourth. It’s not his best work, but his massive reputation (Mountains of the Moon, White Mischief, Barton Fink, Dead Man Walking, Fargo, and The Assassination of Jesse James are just a FEW of my faves of his work) are enough to add him here.

    Fifth? I’m hoping they choose to go with Malamaire’s truly gorgeous FILM work in The Master, which we’re unlikely to see much of in the future. The last time a major film used 65mm film was the ’96 Hamlet. Classic stuff.

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  9. Marshall Flores 3 years ago

    Zach, Beasts of the Southern Wild would be like my 7/8 choice. There really are a lot of great contenders in this category that could be on the bubble: Beasts, The Master, TDKR, Cloud Atlas, Moonrise Kingdom – even The Impossible could be a stealth candidate. Lots of familiar names to Oscar are in play as well: Kaminski, Deakins, Richardson, Pfister, etc.

    My Oscar cinematography lineup would be the same sans Argo which I would switch out for Django Unchained (though any of the films I listed would be worthy nominees too). I’d go with Life of Pi for the win (expecting an Avatar tech trifecta) but definitely wouldn’t mind seeing Deakins finally win one as well for his superlative work in Skyfall.

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  10. Danemychal 3 years ago

    I’m inclined to agree with Marshall’s picks for ASC. Really don’t think Pfister has a shot this year and Richardson is more likely an Oscar pick than a Guild pick. I see him missing Oscar too though since they just awarded him last year in a Hugo upset, and I’m not entirely convinced Django will have a prosperous morning on Thursday.

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  11. Matt 3 years ago

    Zero Dark Thirty
    The Master
    Life of Pi

    NGNG: Beasts of the Southern Wild

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  12. The Japanese Viewer 3 years ago

    (ASC Prediction)

    Life of Pi
    Zero Dark Thirty
    ARGO or The Dark Knight Rises or The Master

    And thanks for the stats, Sasha. (ASC, for this year if you like, do let us make it six reportedly a la Bill Wallace and Patient years. Please…. [I am not sure if those two years were coincidental as in a tie or truly an epitome of ASC’s milk of kindness in terms of an additional spot.])

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  13. Eduardo 3 years ago

    Life of Pi
    The master
    Zero dark thirty

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  14. Chris138 3 years ago

    Skyfall will definitely be nominated. At this rate it seems Deakins is the one to beat for the Oscar. I’d love for Wally Pfister to get nominated, especially over a movie like Argo, but considering it has gotten very little attention from other guilds I doubt it will get anything tomorrow. A shame.

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  15. PaulH 3 years ago

    Razzie noms out:

    Worst Picture
    The Oogieloves in Big Balloon Adventure
    That’s My Boy
    A Thousand Words
    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Worst Director
    Sean Anders – That’s My Boy
    Peter Berg – Battleship
    Bill Condon – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Tyler Perry – Good Deeds / Madea’s Witness Protection
    John Putch – Atlas Shrugged: Part II
    Worst Actress
    Katherine Heigl – One for the Money
    Milla Jovovich – Resident Evil: Retribution
    Tyler Perry – Madea’s Witness Protection
    Kristen Stewart – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II / Snow White and the Huntsman
    Barbra Streisand – The Guilt Trip
    Worst Actor
    Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance / Seeking Justice
    Eddie Murphy – A Thousand Words
    Robert Pattinson – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Tyler Perry – Alex Cross / Good Deeds
    Adam Sandler – That’s My Boy
    Worst Supporting Actress
    Jessica Biel – Playing For Keeps / Total Recall
    Brooklyn Decker – Battleship / What to Expect When You’re Expecting
    Ashley Greene – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Jennifer Lopez – What to Expect When You’re Expecting
    Rihanna – Battleship
    Worst Supporting Actor
    David Hasselhoff – Pirannha 3-DD
    Taylor Lautner – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Liam Neeson – Battleship / Wrath of the Titans
    Nick Swardson – That’s My Boy
    Vanilla Ice – That’s My Boy
    Worst Screen Ensemble
    The Oogieloves in Big Balloon Adventure
    That’s My Boy
    The Twilight Saga: Eclipsed Part II
    Madea’s Witness Protection
    Worst Screenplay
    Atlas Shrugged Part II
    That’s My Boy
    A Thousand Words
    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Worst Remake, Rip-Off, or Sequel
    Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance
    Pirannha 3-DD
    Red Dawn
    The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Madea’s Witness Protection
    Worst Screen Couple
    Any two cast members from Jersey Shore in The Three Stooges
    Mackenzie Foy and Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II
    Tyler Perry and his drag in Madea’s Witness Protection
    Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, Leighton Meester, or Susan Sarandon in That’s My Boy

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  16. Fabinho Flapp 3 years ago

    My Predictions:

    Rodrigo Prieto, Argo
    Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
    Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
    Mihai Malaimare Jr., The Master
    Roger Deakins, Skyfall

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  17. PJ 3 years ago

    Well, at least no one is predicting Les Miserables. :)

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  18. Free 3 years ago

    Anna Karenina
    Life of Pi
    The Master
    Skyfall <– I think this will be dropped for DEEP BLUE SEA come Thursday morning

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  19. Antoinette 3 years ago

    So now that there’s nothing important to do what with ballots in and all, if anyone has a screener of LAWLESS laying around, why not watch that? I thought it had some lovely cinematography.

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  20. Bball_Jake 3 years ago

    @Antoinette I thought Lawless was amazing!

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  21. Nik G. 3 years ago

    I’m with Ryan on this one.

    The Master
    Life of Pi —> WINNER
    Zero Dark Thirty (this is one I think won’t be announced on Thursday. Instead it will go to Les Mis or Django)

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  22. Nik G. 3 years ago

    Cleary though, the film that’s getting the most painful shafting here is A Royal Affair.

    Rust and Bone as well. Gorgeous. And Zero Dark Thirty (love it to bits) really doesn’t deserve it more.

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  23. Bball_Jake 3 years ago

    Someone Please award The Dark Knight Rises. If it gets snubbed one more time, I will punch my computer screen haha

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  24. Outlooker 3 years ago

    I am thinking this will be where “Cloud Atlas” or “Anna Karenina” could surface.

    Most seem to think that ” “PI”, “The Master”, “ZDT”, “Lincoln” and “Skyfall” will prevail.

    I rather hope for “TDKR”, “Lincoln”, “Moonrise Kingdom”, “Django Unchained” and “Skyfall”.

    I haven’t seen “Zero Dark Thirty” so I will leave that one out of my list but it will probably prevail as well.

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  25. Reno 3 years ago

    Life of Pi
    Zero Dark Thirty
    The Master

    And what’s that notoriously tenacious movie again?


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  26. William Best 3 years ago

    Best cinematography:
    – Skyfall
    – Life of Pi
    – Beasts of southern wild
    – Moonrise Kingdom
    – Amour

    (from what i’ve seen yet, since not all films have been released in Holland yet)

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  27. BlueFox94 3 years ago

    Seriously, Roger Deakins should be nominated for all Cinematography awards for “SKYFALL” and win so that the Academy can get a clue. He’s been SO overdue, almost to Christopher Nolan-director levels.

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  28. Paddy Mulholland 3 years ago

    I’ll go with:

    Django Unchained
    Life of Pi
    Les Miserables

    That’s my Oscar prediction, and I’ll predict it here too. Safest.

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  29. Sherman 3 years ago

    Go Deakins!

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  30. Tero Heikkinen 3 years ago

    “Worst Supporting Actor
    David Hasselhoff – Piranha 3DD”

    PaulH, David’s gonna win here with the Harvey Weinstein factor.

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  31. Zooey 3 years ago

    1. Skyfall
    2. Life of Pi
    3. The Master
    4. Zero Dark Thirty
    5. Django Unchained

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  32. Paddy Mulholland 3 years ago

    No Hunger Games? No Avengers? No TDKR?

    PaulH, you must be well pissed.

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