Cinematography cheat sheet

The pros and cons for this year's cinematography nominees

Mauro Fiore

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"

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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