Oscars 2019: Cinematography nominations in pictures

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently announced that the Oscar presentations for cinematography, editing, live action short, and make-up and hair will not be shown live on TV during the ceremony on 24 February.

More than 40 directors and cinematographers have signed an open letter criticising the Academy’s decision.

Instead, the four categories will be streamed live online before being shown later in the TV broadcast.

Here we look at the films nominated in the cinematography category.

Cold War

Nominee: Lukasz Zal

Beginning in 1949 and set against the backdrop of a politically-divided Europe, Cold War follows a couple’s turbulent relationship over the course of the following decade.

Photographed in high contrast black and white, the film uses a nearly square frame – commonly known as Academy ratio – harking back to older cinema before widescreen formats became more standardised.

Film still from Cold WarImage copyright Curzon Artificial Eye
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Film still from Cold WarImage copyright Curzon Artificial Eye
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The Favourite

Nominee: Robbie Ryan

Set in the early 1700s, The Favourite sees Queen Anne, in poor health and emotionally unstable, caught in the midst of a power struggle between her confidante, Lady Sarah, and new arrival Abigail.

Filmed on location at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, The Favourite is almost entirely photographed in natural daylight and candlelight, creating a soft, organic look to the imagery.

Olivia Colman in The FavouriteImage copyright Atsushi Nishijima/Twentieth Century Fox

The camera is often placed at unconventional, low angles, peering upwards at its characters.

Nicholas Hoult in The FavouriteImage copyright Yorgos Lanthimos/Twentieth Centruy Fox
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Nominee: Alfonso Cuarón

Set in Mexico City in the early 1970s, Roma follows the life of Cleo, a maid working for a middle-class family during a time of personal and political upheaval.

The camera takes on an observational approach, often panning around environments to give a further sense of location and atmosphere. Characters are typically framed near to the camera, with the bustle of everyday life visible around them.

Film still from RomaImage copyright Alfonso Cuarón/Shutterstock

In addition to his roles as director, producer, writer and co-editor, Alfonso Cuarón oversaw Roma’s black-and-white photography.

Film still from RomaImage copyright Carlos Somonte/Shutterstock
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A Star Is Born

Nominee: Matthew Libatique

Starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born charts the rising popularity of a struggling singer, as she becomes romantically involved with the rock star who encouraged her talents.

Often lit in red, cyan and magenta colours, the swirling photography helps to convey the rhythm and emotion of the film, putting the audience in the midst of the musical performances.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star Is BornImage copyright Warner Bros/Shutterstock
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Lady Gaga in A Star Is BornImage copyright Warner Bros
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Never Look Away

Nominee: Caleb Deschanel

Spanning three eras of German history, Never Look Away tells the story of a young art student, Kurt, who falls in love with fellow student, Ellie, much to the disdain of her father.

Veteran cinematographer Caleb Deschanel originally intended to shoot on film. However, the closure of nearby film laboratories encouraged him to use digital cameras instead.

Film still from Never Look AwayImage copyright Sony Pictures Classics
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Film still from Never Look AwayImage copyright Sony Pictures Classics

All images subject to copyright.


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