Roger Deakins has won twice before with the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) for The Shawshank Redemption and The Man Who Wasn’t There. Going into tonight, his record was two-for-ten and and now he’s upped that 20% win percentage to 27% as he won tonight for his work on Skyfall.
The award comes over fellow nominees Danny Cohen (Les Miserables), Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln), Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina) and Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi). Four of the five of these gentlemen were also nominated at the Oscars with Robert Richardson (Django Unchained) replacing Cohen.
Of course, one would suspect Deakins is now the front-runner for Oscar. After all, he won with the Cinematographers Guild and that has to mean something. Well, it does, but… Deakins has been nominated nine times for Oscar’s Best Cinematography (including the two times he won the ASC) and he’s lost all nine times and, at the moment, he isn’t my favorite on Oscar night, February 24.
Right now I see Miranda’s work on Life of Pi taking home the Oscar with Deakins coming up short once again. Miranda won last night at the BAFTA Awards to go along with wins at the Critics Choice and Satellite Awards this year.
Deakins’ losses, however, haven’t been against weak competition. I’d argue, however, this is his best chance for winning since 2002 when his work on The Man Who Wasn’t There lost (unfairly I might add) to Andrew Lesnie for his work on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Hell, looking at the nominees that year — Moulin Rouge!, Black Hawk Down and Amelie — I’d say the least deserving of the bunch won, but such is the way of the Academy.