One of the tougher categories this season got significantly much easier after the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) announced last night, awarding Greig Fraser’s lensing of Dune, following his BAFTA win earlier this month.
There has been a built-in narrative for Ari Wegner (The Power of the Dog) to be the first female cinematographer to win the Oscar, but as only the second woman ever even nominated and coming in with just a Critics’ Choice win, her hill is now a nearly impossible one to climb.
As you can see in the chart below, since 2000, when BAFTA moved before the Oscars, they’ve become even stronger than ASC alone, especially in the 2010s. While we have a few examples of years with a three-way split, there are only three times where ASC reigned, including just last year when Mank beat out critics’ favorite Nomadland there and then ultimately at the Oscars. Also since 2000, all but two winning combinations of ASC+BAFTA have resulted in an Oscar win (2001 and 2006). With The Power of the Dog struggling so significantly with other guilds wins (outside of DGA), it would be surprising, but not impossible, for the Academy suddenly go its way.
UPDATE: I’ve changed my official prediction from Dune (dated March 21 ) to The Power of the Dog on March 25.
Here are my final Oscar predictions for Cinematography.
- The Power of the Dog (Netflix) – CCA, BAFTA, ASC
- Dune (Warner Bros/HBO Max) – CCA, BAFTA, ASC
- The Tragedy of Macbeth (A24/Apple Original Films) – CCA, BAFTA, ASC
- West Side Story (20th Century Studios) – CCA
- Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures) – CCA, ASC, BAFTA