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by Peter Knegt
February 16, 2013 4:19 PM
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2013 Oscar Predictions: Best Cinematography

'Life of Pi'
Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the 85th Academy Awards through February 24th, when the winners are announced.

Here's our take on best cinematography, which represents yet another chance for Roger Deakins to win an Oscar, this time for "Skyfall." Nominated 10 times, Deakins has never won -- and will probably lose again this year, most likely to Claudio Miranda for "Life of Pi" (who has also never won, but this is only his second nomination). But you never know...

Nominees and predictions below. Check out all predictions in all the categories here, and this list of all the Oscar-nominated films available ON DEMAND right now.

The nominees:
"Anna Karenina" Seamus McGarvey
"Django Unchained" Robert Richardson
"Life of Pi" Claudio Miranda
"Lincoln" Janusz Kaminski
"Skyfall" Roger Deakins

Will win: "Life of Pi"
Could win: "Skyfall"
Should win: "Skyfall"

Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

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  • Chris Courtois | May 30, 2013 5:56 PMReply

    Life of Pi is one of the greatest efforts in cinematography I have seen in this lifetime. Double the effort because it's in breathtaking stereo. It won fair and square. The competitors look misclassified. This is a visual Oscar and not one based on content. Win fairly and hands down, not even a close competition.

  • monkeypox6 | April 15, 2013 10:59 PMReply

    How I think it should have been:

    1. Robert Richardson, "Django Unchained"
    2. Danny Cohen, "Les Miserables"
    3. Claudio Miranda, "Life of Pi"*(WINNER)
    4. Janusz Kaminski, "Lincoln"
    5. Roger Deakins, "Skyfall"*(Runner-up)

  • Question | February 25, 2013 11:14 PMReply

    can someone explain to a non professional the cinematography award. I was suprised to see Pi as the winner. I understood it to have alot of computer generated imaging. Wouldnt that take away from cinematography?

  • Matt Murdock | February 12, 2013 2:44 AMReply

    Am I the only one who was blown away by the cinematography in Django Unchained? I'm a big Robert Richardson fan, and caught myself thinking "this looks awesome!" throughout the film.

    This year ghe quality of the nominees is spectacular, any of them would be a deserving winner. I would love if Deakins won, finally!

    And contrary to popular opinion, Life of Pi was mu least favorite here.

  • Jenna | February 2, 2013 9:46 AMReply

    I've seen all the nominees nominated and in terms of being flashy and showy, hands down Anna Karenina but the criteria of the judges have grown to more than that and they want to see something deeper, tactfulness yet immaculately looking cinematography so the chances for Anna Karenina for winning best cinematography may be a longshot and Lincoln would probably win in my opinion.

  • Johan | February 2, 2013 9:34 AMReply

    Has any one of you watched Anna Karenina? The cinematography was spectacular, the way they shift the scenes (like that of a stage play) was exquisite. I think this will easily win best cinematography. wtf..am i the only one???

  • DEEa | February 1, 2013 12:02 PMReply

    For sure Life of Pi deserves to winn Best Cinematography

  • name | January 9, 2013 7:11 PMReply

    If the Hobbit is going to win ANYTHING, it surely should be best cinematography. Best I've seen in years.

  • Shelshock | January 9, 2013 2:12 AMReply

    Life of Pi deserves to win. The film's image was breathtaking. Skyfall deserves a nom. and high praise. Django, The Master, and Lincoln deserve a nom. Prometheus was well done in terms of cinematography and should at least get a nod even though the film overall is mediocre.

  • Martin | January 8, 2013 8:54 AMReply

    Check out my predictions for the visual categories at http://www.mondoglam.com/2013/01/predicciones-al-oscar-2013-dos-dias.html

  • Matt | December 31, 2012 11:47 PMReply

    I think that the cinematography in Les Miserables deserves a predicted spot. I'm sure Skyfall will be nominated, that part where they are in the glass rooms was amazing

  • ^_^ | December 31, 2012 5:09 AMReply

    SKYFALL and LIFE OF PI are THE BEST CONTENDERS...and i want both of them to win( if there will be a tie.. :-)

  • Film Fan | December 30, 2012 12:57 PMReply

    I was surprised how fantastic the cinematography was in Django. I still think Pi has a pretty strong lead and deserves a win but I would not be all too shocked if Skyfall and Django took the spot because they were stunners too.

  • BOO | December 19, 2012 11:14 AMReply

    What happened to Life of Pi? I feel like last year with Hugo it shows that they kind of just give it to the best looking movie. Though I wish Tree of Life won. I would be happy if The Master won, too. But still I think it will go to Life of Pi.

  • Film Fan | December 30, 2012 12:54 PM

    I so wanted Tree of Life to win this category last year or possibly even War Horse, and I was really bummed when Hugo got it. For a while I was sure Life of Pi had this locked (and for good reason) but now I think Skyfall or Django could easily snatch it. The Master was great in this category too but I found Pi, Skyfall and Django to be much more impressive.

  • Steven Krams | December 18, 2012 6:01 PMReply

    Samsara is dazzling in 4K shot on 70mm! it is worthy of serious consideration!

  • BOO | December 19, 2012 11:15 AM

    So is The Master. Samsara is a documentary so they probably won't care.

  • Film Fan | December 12, 2012 7:24 PMReply

    The cinemarography in both Life of Pi and Skyfall was brilliant and so very Oscar worthy. Lincoln, Django, Les Mis should also be nominated. But this award belongs to Life of Pi, no doubt about it.

  • Forrest | December 3, 2012 3:25 AMReply

    If Life of Pi doesn't win this I will never watch the Oscars again.

  • Film Fan | December 12, 2012 7:29 PM

    The only way I won't be totally pissed if Life of Pi doesn't win this is if Skyfall gets it.

  • Ross | December 1, 2012 2:32 PMReply

    If The Dark Knight Rises isn't nominated here, I will actually eat my copy of it.

  • BOO | December 5, 2012 7:58 PM

    You might want to get out your camera and call your dentist.

  • BOO | November 29, 2012 9:26 PMReply

    The Hobbit does look like it has really good cinematography. Maybe the oscars are done with LOTR though. Maybe not.

  • Zane | November 29, 2012 5:54 PMReply

    The Dark Knight Rises should easily win. Skyfall should be nominated, Argo was OK, I don't see a nomination for Life of Pi or Django Unchained.

  • Cinema | December 12, 2012 7:26 PM

    The Dark Knight rises was a great film but the cinematography isn't as good as some of these other films. Skyfall, Argo, Django and Pi are way stronger in this category. And this award should for sure go to Pi! It had some of the best cinematography I have ever seen.

  • Forrest | December 3, 2012 3:25 AM


  • vivid | December 1, 2012 11:21 PM

    you know anything about cinematograhpy?
    if not keep quiet

  • BOO | November 29, 2012 9:24 PM

    That's wrong. TDK won't even be nominated most likely and Life of Pi could easily win.

  • Zane | November 29, 2012 5:53 PMReply

    The Dark Knight Rises should easily win. Skyfall should be nominated, Argo was OK, I don't see a nomination for Life of Pi or Django Unchained.

  • Joe H. | November 28, 2012 12:41 PMReply

    Cloud Atlas and Anna Karenina should both be considered as frontrunners

  • Jerome | November 26, 2012 11:31 AMReply

    Nominees for me would have to be:

    Dark Knight Rises: say what you like about it's plot, acting etc (personally i loved it, but hey, everyone has their opinion), name another movie on its level cinematography wise. No, i can't either, i can only think of films near it.
    The Life of Pi: Haven't seen it, don't plan to, but from the trailers the cinematography looks solid, interesting and vibrant. Considering how its a fantasy i'd assume it continues in that vein throughout the whole movie.
    Prometheus: Much like TDKR, just on a lesser scale both in how much i liked it and how good the cine was.
    The Hobbit: Same people, same series (sort of), same world as LOTR means only one thing; amazing cinematography.
    Other than those 4, no other films are truly based around large-scale cinematography, so it'll come down to a straight fight between films like Argo, Lincoln and The Master, all films vying for Best Picture, as to which gains yet another nomination.

    All my prediction of course.

  • Ross | November 21, 2012 4:15 PMReply

    stop including the master in everything. Its cinematography was bland and generic, its merits lie elsewhere.

  • Unknown | February 8, 2013 8:16 PM

    I know the person who left this comment will probably never see this. But shame on you. The Master was visually perhaps the most impressive film that I have ever seen. The power of the images goes so far beyond the words that inspired it. The Master is a visual masterpiece and a statement on how film truly is an art form. Anyone who has a legitimate interest in film should not deny themselves the truly stunning experience that is, The Master.

  • Brad | December 14, 2012 2:35 PM

    What are you talking about? the cinematography is beautiful.

  • Robert | November 21, 2012 11:22 AMReply

    Don't get me wrong, I feel that the cinematography in Skyfall was breathtaking and beautiful. But, in my opinion, I don't think it was better than the lenses work in The Dark Knight Roses. The depth and texture that Wally Pfister applied was marvelous and definitely Oscar worthy. And Les Miserables is kinda iffy, so The Hobbit is more stable and groundbreaking technology (48 fps 3D)
    My top five...
    1. Life of Pi
    2. The Dark Knight Rises
    3. The Hobbit
    4. The Master
    5. Either Lincoln/Skyfall

  • Jule | November 10, 2012 12:48 PMReply

    Roger Deakins ...
    He have 8 nomites ....

  • flmbyz | November 2, 2012 12:06 AMReply

    Okay, I'm not the only one who thinks Skyfall is a top contender for this category. I think The Master's mixed reception will probably hurt it's chances and see it's slot go to either The Hobbit or The Dark Knight Rises.

  • Cinema | December 16, 2012 2:25 PM

    The Cinematography in Skyfall was stunning. I was not expecting it.

  • Zane | October 24, 2012 1:22 AMReply

    The Dark Knight Rises Should Win this one

  • BOO | November 29, 2012 9:25 PM

    What was so special about the cinematography? Compared to Life of Pi and The Master it's not as good.

  • Jule | October 23, 2012 5:53 PMReply

    I think Lincoln Win ....

  • Michael | December 19, 2012 2:07 AM

    You obviously didn't see it in 70 mm. It had the most mindblowing cinematography this year. The images were so stark and beautiful, second only to The Master. And compared to Life of Pi it's equivalent, the only thing that could put Life of Pi ahead would be one or two shots, but as a whole TDKR was better.

  • Shad | October 21, 2012 8:14 PMReply

    While I found Prometheus rather stupid... I reckon it should get a mention for cinematography...nthe visuals blew my mind.

  • BOO | October 15, 2012 7:52 AMReply

    Prometheus really deserves a nomination.

  • Buli | October 11, 2012 7:37 PMReply

    Wally Pfister nominated for The Dark Knight Rises.... that's more like.

  • Buli | October 11, 2012 7:36 PMReply

    Wally Pfister nominated for The Dark Knight Rises.... that's more like.

  • mass | October 2, 2012 10:45 AMReply

    If THE MASTER does not win this award, their "best cinematography award" will mean fuck all. They already botched last years Oscar award by giving the thing to HUGO as opposed to THE TREE OF LIFE. The latter of which was absolutely incredible.

  • Francois | October 2, 2012 9:48 AMReply

    Why the sudden high hopes for TDKR? Not that I'm complaining (it's my personal favorite in the trilogy), it definitely deserves the nomination, but there hasn't been much awards hype around it so far.

  • BOO | October 2, 2012 2:58 PM

    It's just cinematography.

  • harris | September 26, 2012 3:59 PMReply


  • bobo | October 10, 2012 5:05 PM

    seen both. LOTR wins by a long shot. sorry

  • chris | October 10, 2012 5:03 PM

    HAHA The Hobbit will in. For God's sake the trailer deserves to win.

  • BOO | September 28, 2012 8:43 PM

    Watch The Master

  • Robert | September 25, 2012 5:22 PMReply

    UMMMM WHERE IS THE HUNGER GAMES!!!! That movie had without a doubt the best cinematography all year...id like to see The hobbit get it but I'd say the hunger games deserve it...it was well choreographed curvy realistic style that many movies can't achieve

  • Anonymous | October 19, 2012 8:34 PM

    I'm sorry, but in my humble opinion, the cinematography was actually the weakest link in The Hunger Games. The unnecessary shaky cam made some of the scenes unberrable to watch. Honestly, there are much better films in the running.

  • BOO | September 25, 2012 5:46 PM

    Nope it didn't. Have you seen The Master?

  • Simple Citizen | September 24, 2012 5:02 PMReply

    4 Predictions for the Movie: (including a spoiler for the change to the ending) http://thoughtsofasimplecitizen.blogspot/2012/09/les-miserables-predictions.html

  • heydoo | September 22, 2012 7:10 PMReply

    Very funny how The Hobbit has quote a "longer shot"........hilarious.....has anyone even seen The Lord of the Rings?

  • greta | September 23, 2012 9:22 AM

    if The Hobbit doesn't win best cinematography, then the oscars don't deserve to go on

  • randy | September 18, 2012 6:53 AMReply

    predictions based on trailers. what a clever idea...