Oscars Predictions: Best Cinematography – ‘The Power of the Dog’ and ‘Spencer’ Lead for Women Cinematographers…Will the Academy Notice?

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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar and Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

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2022 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

UPDATED: Nov 4, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: This year, multiple women are bringing their A-game to high-profile films. Ari Wegner creates distinct visions in Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” from Netflix and Janicza Bravo’s “Zola” from A24. Wegner is one of the period film’s leading contenders; Netflix was also responsible for getting Rachel Morrison’s historic recognition for Dee Ree’s “Mudbound” (2017).

Of the 21 eligible categories for women (sans male acting categories), it’s the cinematographers’ branch that has the worst showing for diverse and inclusive artists. In terms of winning individuals, there have been two Asians (James Wong Hau and Peter Pau), four Latinos (Guillermo Navarro, Claudio Miranda, Emmanuel Lubezki and Alfonso Cuarón), zero Black with only two nominees ever (Remi Adefarasin’“and Bradford Young’“”) and zero Indigenous People who have never been recognized in the space.

Kristen Stewart’s sensational performance as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer” is elevated significantly by the smooth orange and yellow hues brought by Claire Mithon. A delicious and worthy entry, she’s playing double duty at distributor Neon, who also is handling her other project “Petite Maman” from Céline Sciamma.

With a plethora of black-and-white entries in the fray, there are worthy considerations that are more dark horses at the moment but should be given their proper shakes, notably Helene Louvart from Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter” and Paula Huidobro from “CODA.”

If you notice a trend in the listing of our fantastic women artists – their films are helmed by female filmmakers or male artists from underrepresented communities. It looks like we’re having each other’s backs but white Hollywood is not.

To be fair, and sadly not in the awards race like it should be, John Krasinski’s sequel “A Quiet Place Part II” shines with British DP Polly Morgan. How could we expect any less from our Jim Halpert?

Oscar nominations voting begins on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. The official Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

Awards Season Calendar (2021-2022)

Kristen Stewart as Diana in a reflective mood at her childhood home. - Credit: Courtesy of Pablo Lorrain/Neon
Kristen Stewart as Diana in a reflective mood at her childhood home. - Credit: Courtesy of Pablo Lorrain/Neon

Courtesy of Pablo Lorrain/Neon

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

RANK

FILM

STUDIO

CINEMATOGRAPHER

1

Dune

Warner Bros

Greig Fraser

2

The Power of the Dog

Netflix

Ari Wegner

3

The Tragedy of Macbeth

A24/Apple Original Films

Bruno Delbonnel

4

Belfast

Focus Features

Haris Zambarloukos

5

Nightmare Alley

Searchlight Pictures

Dan Laustsen

NEXT IN LINE

6

West Side Story

20th Century Studios

Janusz Kaminski

7

tick, tick…Boom!

Netflix

Alice Brooks

8

Spencer

Neon/Topic Studios

Claire Mithon

9

C’mon C’mon

A24

Robbie Ryan

10

Licorice Pizza

United Artists Releasing/MGM

Michael Bauman, Paul Thomas Anderson

OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

11

Parallel Mothers

Sony Pictures Classics

José Luis Alcaine

12

Don’t Look Up

Netflix

Linus Sandgren

13

The Harder They Fall

Netflix

Mihai Mălaimare Jr.

14

Cyrano

United Artists Releasing/MGM

Seamus McGarvey

15

Swan Song

Apple Original Films

Masanobu Takaynagi

16

Being the Ricardos

Amazon Studios

Jeff Cronenweth

17

Passing

Netflix

Eduard Grau

18

Nine Days

Sony Pictures Classics

Wyatt Garfield

19

King Richard

Warner Bros

Robert Elswit

20

The Last Duel

20th Century Studios

Dariusz Wolski

ALSO IN CONTENTION

21

Val

Amazon Studios

Val Kilmer

22

House of Gucci

United Artists Releasing/MGM

Dairusz Wolski

23

No Time to Die

United Artists Releasing/MGM

Linus Sandgren

24

CODA

Apple Original Films

Paula Huidobro

25

The French Dispatch

Searchlight Pictures

Robert Yeoman

26

Eternals

Marvel Studios

Ben Davis

27

Last Night in Soho

Focus Features

Chung-hoon Chung

29

The Green Knight

A24

Andrew Droz Palermo

30

The Tender Bar

Amazon Studios

Martin Ruhe

31

The Lost Daughter

Netflix

Helene Louvart

UNRANKED LISTING

12 Mighty Orphans

Sony Pictures Classics

David McFarland

7 Prisoners

Netflix

João Gabriel de Queiroz

A Chiara

Neon

Tim Curtin

A Hero

Amazon Studios

Ali Ghazi, Arash Ramezani

A Journal for Jordan

Sony Pictures

Maryse Alberti

A Quiet Place Part II

Paramount Pictures

Polly Morgan

Ailey

Neon

Naiti Gámez

American Underdog

Lionsgate

Kristopher Kimlin

Annette

Amazon Studios

Caroline Champetier

Antlers

Searchlight Pictures

Florian Hoffmeister

Army of the Dead

Netflix

Zack Snyder

Benedetta

IFC Films

Jeanne Lapoirie

Bergman Island

IFC Films

Denis Lenoir

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Kino Lorber

Yoshi Heimrath

Black Widow

Marvel Studios

Gabriel Beristain

Blue Bayou

Focus Features

Matthew Chuang, Ante Cheng

Bruised

Netflix

Frank G. DeMarco

Candyman

Universal Pictures

John Guleserian

Chaos Walking

Lionsgate

Ben Seresin

Coming 2 America

Amazon Studios

Joe “Jody” Williams

Compartment No. 6

Sony Pictures Classics

Jani-Petteri Passi

Concrete Cowboy

Netflix

Minka Farthing-Kohl

Cruella

Walt Disney Pictures

Nicolas Karakatsanis

Cry Macho

Warner Bros

Ben Davis

Dear Evan Hansen

Universal Pictures

Brandon Trost

Dream Horse

Bleecker Street

Erik Alexander Wilson

Drive My Car

No U.S. Distribution

Hidetoshi Shinomiya

Ema

Music Box Films

Sergio Armstrong

Encounter

Amazon Studios

Benjamin Kračun

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Amazon Studios

Christopher Ross

F9

Universal Pictures

Stephen F. Windon

Finch

Apple Original Films

Jo Willems

Flag Day

United Artists Releasing/MGM

Daniel Moder

Free Guy

20th Century Studios

George Richmond

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Sony Pictures

Eric Steelberg

Godzilla vs. Kong

Warner Bros

Ben Seresin

Gunpowder Milkshake

STXfilms

Michael Seresin

In the Heights

Warner Bros

Alice Brooks

Jockey

Sony Pictures Classics

Adolpho Veloso

John and the Hole

IFC Films

Paul Ozgur

Jungle Cruise

Walt Disney Pictures

Flavio Martínez Labiano

Language Lessons

Shout! Studios

Jeremy Mackie

Luca

Pixar

Kim White, David Juan Bianchi

Mainstream

IFC Films

Autumn Durald

Mass

Bleecker Street

Ryan Jackson-Healy

Memoria

Neon

To be added

Mothering Sunday

Sony Pictures Classics

Jamie D. Ramsay

My Name is Pauli Murray

Amazon Studios

Claudia Raschke

No Sudden Move

HBO Max

Peter Andrews

Old Henry

Shout! Studios

John Matysiak

Petite Maman

Neon

Claire Mithon

Pig

Neon

Patrick Scola

Raya and the Last Dragon

Walt Disney Pictures

Rob Dressel, Adolph Lusinsky

Red Rocket

A24

Drew Daniels

Respect

United Artists Releasing/MGM

Kramer Morgenthau

Roadrunner

Focus Features

Adam Beckman, Graham Willoughby

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Marvel Studios

Bill Pope

Shiva Baby

Utopia

Maria Rusche

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Sony Pictures

Mauro Fiore

Stillwater

Focus Features

Masanobu Takayanagi

Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Searchlight Pictures

Shawn PEters

Swan Song

Magnolia Pictures

Jackson Warner Lewis

The Card Counter

Focus Features

Alexander Dynan

The Colour Room

Sky Cinema

Denson Baker

The Courier

Lionsgate

Sean Bobbitt

The Duke

Sony Pictures Classics

Mike Eley

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Amazon Studios

Erik Wilson

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Searchlight Pictures

Mike Gioulakis

The Guilty

Netflix

Maz Makhani

The Hand of God

Netflix

Daria D’Antonio

The Humans

A24

Lol Crawley

The Many Saints of Newark

Warner Bros

Kramer Morgenthau

The Matrix: Resurrections

Warner Bros

Daniele Massaccesi, John Toll

The Sparks Brothers

Focus Features

Jake Polonsky

The Suicide Squad

Warner Bros

Henry Braham

The Tomorrow War

Amazon Studios

Larry Fong

The Unforgivable

Netflix

Guillermo Navarro

The Worst Person in the World

Neon

Kasper Tuxen

Titane

Neon

Ruben Impens

Together

Bleecker Street

Iain Struthers

Together Together

Bleecker Street

Frank Barrera

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Sony Pictures

To be added

Werewolves Within

IFC Films

To be added

Zola

A24

Ari Wegner

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Cinematography)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each..

2022 Academy Awards Predictions

2021 Oscars predictions are here.

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The date for the 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 27, 2022

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