Well, if you didn’t already think the cinematography Oscar race was a done deal, it certainly is now: season-long favorite Emmanuel Lubezki has taken the ASC Award for “Gravity.”
Of all the cinematography precursors on the circuit, the ASC is the most resistant to 3D and CGI-enhanced imagery: recent Oscar winners in the category like “Avatar,” “Hugo” and “Life of Pi” all failed to win here, so it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see the voters plump for the more old-school work of “Inside Llewyn Davis” or even “The Grandmaster.” The fact that they, too, joined the “Gravity” express underlines that this year, nothing is coming between Lubezki and his overdue first Oscar.
Unlike the Academy, however, the ASC doesn’t need to make amends. This is Lubezki’s third win from the group: he won in the 2006 race for Alfonso Cuaron’s last film, “Children of Men,” and in the 2011 race for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” — losing the Oscar to “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hugo” respectively, with neither outcome an especially popular one. Both times, he lost to a film that was more highly regarded within the Academy; this year, however, he’s on board the popular favorite. Now on his sixth Oscar nomination, Chivo will not be denied.
The inaugural ASC Spotlight Award for international and festival features went to Polish team Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal for the silky black-and-white lensing of Pawel Pawlikowski’s gorgeous period drama “Ida” — a fine standard-bearer for a most welcome new award. TV wins, meanwhile, went to “Game of Thrones,” “Killing Lincoln” and “Drunk History.”
Full list of winners below. Catch up with the season thus far at The Circuit.
Best Cinematography in a Theatrical Release: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Gravity”
ASC Spotlight Award: Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal, “Ida”
Television Film or Miniseries: Jeremy Benning, “Killing Lincoln”
One-Hour Episodic Series: Jonathan Freeman, “Game of Thrones” (“Valar Dohaeris”)
Half-Hour Episodic Series: Blake McClure, “Drunk History” (“Detroit”)
ASC International Award: Eduardo Serra
Bud Stone Award of Distinction: Beverly Wood
Career Achievement in Television: Richard Rawlings, Jr.
ASC Board of Governors Award: John Wells
Lifetime Achievement Award: Dean Cundey