Monday, February 13, 2012

Oscar Countdown: Cinematography & Editing

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 9:18 AM

In advance of the Academy Award ceremony on Feb. 26, Screen Grab will predict the winners in all categories.

Cinematography: The Artist, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, The Tree of Life, War Horse. The American Society of Cinematographers awarded Terence Malick's beautifully-photographed The Tree of Life. Will the Academy fail to recognize The Artist, which is, quite conspicuously, a black and white film? Apparently cinematographer Guillaume Schiffman shot The Artist in color and then "monochromed" it after the fact, but I don't know if cinematographers would glance askance at that sort of thing. Incidentally, the last black and white film to win an Oscar was Schindler's List. (In 1979, Woody Allen's Manhattan wasn't even nominated, but Disney's The Black Hole was.)
Prediction: The Artist, although an award for Hugo could be a means of recognizing 3-D.

Film Editing: The Artist, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Moneyball. Making my Oscar Countdown this year made me figure out part of the reason why Hugo earned more Oscar nominations than The Artist. As a Martin Scorsese movie, Hugo boasts a crew of excellent, storied screen artists in all categories, while The Artist's creative team tend to be lesser-knowns. Editor Thelma Schoonmaker, for instance, has worked on all of Martin Scorsese films since Raging Bull, been nominated for seven Academy Awards and won three times, for Raging Bull, The Aviator, and The Departed. On the other hand, does Schoonmaker need any more recognition from the Oscars?
Prediction: The Artist. I'm probably wrong on this one, but Hugo is a film that feels significantly too long, while The Artist has a marvelous sense of flow to compensate for the lack of audible dialogue.

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