ASC & the Oscars

The ASC started awarding films for their achievement in cinematography in 1986. 



ASC & Oscar Nominees          Genre                           Cinematographer                     

The King’s Speech                   Historical Drama           Danny Cohen
The Social Network                 Comedy/Drama            Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit                                  Western                        Roger Deakins
Black Swan                              Drama/Thriller              Matthew Libatique
Inception                                  Sci-Fi Action                Wally Pfister
1 – Nominee/Winner Stats

In 24 years, the ASC and Cinematography Oscar winners have matched only 9 times (38%).  This is a very low match rate.  6 of those 9 films (66%) were Best Picture winners.  Based on this statistic, I would not assume that ASC and Oscar will pick the same winner.

Most years (15), the ASC and Oscar nominations match 4 out of 5.  However, this year is only the third year ever where the ASC and Oscar nominations match 5 out of 5 exactly.  This has only ever happened twice and both of those years the ASC winner and Oscar winner matched.
            2007 – There Will Be Blood
            1996 – The English Patient
Both films were at least nominated for Best Picture, which can be said of all of this year’s nominees.  Based on these numbers, I would say that the ASC and Oscar will pick the same winner.
CONCLUSION:         ASC and Oscar will pick the same winner
2 – Genre
The top 3 genres for both ASC and Oscar are Period Drama, Drama & War.
The King’s Speech – Historical Drama has never won ASC or Oscar, although Historical Epic has won both (Braveheart-1995 & The Mission-1986(Oscar only)).  However, the Drama category dominates.
The Social Network – Comedy/Drama has never won ASC or Oscar, although Fantasy and Period Comedy has won ASC (Peggy Sue Got Married-1986 & Blaze-1989).  Drama dominates.
True Grit – Western has never won ASC or Oscar.
Black Swan – Drama/Thriller has won 2 Oscars (JFK-1991 & Mississippi Burning-1988), but no ASC.  But, the Drama category dominates.
Inception – Sci-Fi Action has never won ASC or Oscar although Sci-Fi Adventure has won 1 Oscar (Avatar-2009).
CONCLUSION:
Out:      Inception, True Grit
In:        The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Black Swan
3 – Cinematographer
Danny Cohen
Never been nominated for ASC or Oscar.
Jeff Cronenweth
Never been nominated for ASC or Oscar.
Roger Deakins
Will be receiving the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award this year.  Could this be the year he takes home the big prize as well?
8 Oscar Noms – 0 Oscar wins:
(The Reader, The Assassination of Jesse James, No Country For Old Men, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Kundun, Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption)
7 ASC Noms – 2 ASC Wins
Wins: (The Man Who Wasn’t There, The Shawshank Redemption) Nom: (The Reader, Revolutionary Road, The Assassination of Jesse James, No Country For Old Men, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Kundun, Fargo
Matthew Libatique
Never been nominated for ASC or Oscar.
Wally Pfister                            
3 Oscar Noms – 0 Oscar Wins
(The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Batman Begins)
2 ASC Noms – 0 ASC Wins
(The Dark Knight, Batman Begins)
CONCLUSION:
Out:      The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Black Swan
In:        Inception, True Grit
4 – Precursors
For the most part this awards season, the cinematography award has been won by Black Swan, True Grit & Inception.
CONCLUSION
Out:      The King’s Speech, The Social Network,
In:        Inception, True Grit, Black Swan
5 – Oscar Stats
9 films in 24 years (38%) have matched ASC and Oscar Cinematography.  6 of those films (66%) were Best Picture winners, but that’s only 25% of the total 24 years.
8 films in 24 years (33%) have matched Best Picture and Oscar Cinematography.  2 of those films (25%) did not win ASC, but that’s only 8% of the total 24 years.
Best Picture & ASC NEVER match unless Oscar Cinematography also matches.
CONCLUSION
Best Picture and ASC only match when the Cinematography matches too.  Therefore, if we’re going to pick the frontrunner for Best Picture for ASC, then we should pick it for Cinematography as well.  However, there’s only a 25% chance of that happening.
The Social Network is effective, but nothing spectacular.
Inception has great camerawork, but the snubs will continue.
Black Swan is technically and conceptually the best.
The King’s Speech has 12 nominees and could sweep the Oscars
True Grit.  Deakins is due.
ASC and Oscar will match winners this year.  If I thought they would go different, then I would pick Deakins to win ASC and The King’s Speech to get the Oscar.  This is probably my favorite category but it’s so difficult to predict because there’s no tell-tale sign either way.  Deakins could potentially win the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award, ASC Cinematography Award and Oscar Cinematography Award.
.
PREDICTION
ASC    –           True Grit
Oscar   –           True Grit
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