2020 Precursor Predictions: American Society of Cinematographers

The definitive group of cinematographers has a tendency to reject orthodoxy and pick winners that don’t link up with the Oscars. Will the same happen this year or are we destined for a connection? We’ll see.

AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS AWARDS

Best Cinematography

Cherry
Mank (RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp)
News of the World (RU:Thomas)
Nomadland (Wesley, Peter, Tripp, Thomas)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (RU:Peter)

Wesley Lovell: One film has clearly dominated this category at the various precursors this year and it’s Nomadland None of the other films seem likely to win out over Chloé Zhao’s film, but if I were to hazard a guess, the strange adoration cinematographers have for black-and-white films might give Mank a chance.
Peter J. Patrick: Nomadland of course, with The Trial of the Chicago 7 a distant second.
Tripp Burton: Nomadland has become a surprise juggernaut in the cinematography categories, but being the only non-guild member here could hurt him. If so, look to the black-and-white of Mank to prevail.
Thomas LaTourette: Nomadland has been winning most of the precursors in this category and it will probably do so again here. I would be really surprised if anything else wins, though the gorgeous vistas of News of the World or the 1940s black-and-white world of Mank could give it a run for the award.

Spotlight Award

Dear Comrades! (Tripp, Thomas, RU:Wesley)
Swallow (Wesley, RU:Peter, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)
Two of Us (Peter)

Wesley Lovell: This is a difficult category to predict as the films aren’t easily available. That said, Swallow has some of the best reviews of the bunch and its bizarre storyline might help it with these voters.
Peter J. Patrick: No idea, really, but The Two of Us or Swallow would be my guess in that order.
Tripp Burton: This seems like a crapshoot, but the black-and-white of Dear Comrades! seems like a good bet.
Thomas LaTourette: I do not know much about these three films, though Dear Comrades! and Swallow sound like they would have the most interesting cinematography.

Documentary

Gunda (Thomas, RU:Tripp)
Notturno (Wesley, RU:Peter, RU:Thomas)
The Truffle Hunters (Peter, Tripp, RU:Wesley)

Wesley Lovell: It’s surprising that the acclaimed underwater photography of My Octopus Teacher didn’t land it a nomination from the ASC. That leaves us with three films that I cannot say for sure will win over each other. This is but a guess.
Peter J. Patrick: Let’s go with The Truffle Hunters for this one, with Notturno as runner-up.
Tripp Burton: I don’t see how the painterly look of The Truffle Hunters loses here.
Thomas LaTourette: The beautiful black-and-white photography of Gunda should propel it to a win, though perhaps the difficulty of filming Notturno over three years will get it some votes.

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