New University Oscar Predictions: Best Cinematography

Competition is fierce among this year’s crop of talented lensmen. Dick Pope (‘The Illusionist’) and Wally Pfister (‘The Prestige’) literally brought magic to the screen, and Guillermo Navarro’s work on ‘El Laberinto del Fauno’ was nothing short of brilliant. Vilmos Zsigmond had an amazing eye for cinematography decades ago with ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ (and, of course, 1974’s seminal film ‘The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?’) but his nomination for ‘The Black Dahlia’ is a bit of a puzzler. The Oscar this year, though, has to go to ‘Children of Men’ cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, both for all those jaw-dropping tracking shots and for his delicate mastery of color and tone. The film wouldn’t have been the same without him.