Cinematography cheat sheet

The pros and cons for this year's cinematography nominees

 
Mauro Fiore
"Avatar"

Pros: Knockout visuals, groundbreaking 3D technology, total awareness within the Academy. Eight other Oscar noms; ASC and BAFTA noms for Fiore.
Cons: A true hybrid, "Avatar" has created a stir in the cinematography community. How much of this is a CG-animated movie and how much is actual photography?

 
Bruno Delbonnel
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"

Pros: Truly magical, looming with deep shadows, this is one of the deepest, darkest, best-looking "Potter" films.
Cons: The sixth entry in a long-running franchise, how does this one not simply build upon style set down by the others? This is the film's lone Oscar nom.

 
Barry Ackroyd
"The Hurt Locker"

Pros: Filled with super-charged cinematic imagery. Timely and emotional. Eight other Oscar nominations; ASC and BAFTA noms for Ackroyd.
Cons: The docudrama style may seem too low-key.


 
Robert Richardson
"Inglourious Basterds"

Pros: Rich, crisp, atmospheric images that perfectly support the performances and story. Seven other Oscar nominations; BAFTA and ASC noms for Richardson.
Cons: Quentin Tarantino's films have long been celebrated for their writing, directing and acting, not the crafts categories. Richardson has won before.

 
Christian Berger
"The White Ribbon"

Pros:
Stark, beautiful and bold, this disturbing drama showcases the stunning black-and-white cinematography, leaving an indelible mark on the viewer. ASC nom for Berger; won major critics' awards.
Cons: How many voters saw this German import, even though it's also nominated for best foreign-language film? Director Michael Haneke's fascination with violence could distance some.
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