The Viola Davis/Maggie Gyllenhaal film, Won’t Back Down, opening this Friday, hasn’t been getting good advance word. So far, critics have been calling it dull, totally predictable and an unfair attack against teachers’ unions, as if they’re the cause of the all the problems that plague public schools.
In fact, Salon.com, in a review of the film yesterday, said it’s as if the film “was made by Fox News”.
However, in spite of that, I still want to see it because it’s only the second American-made fiilm photographed by cinematographer Roman Osin.
I’ve been following his career for some time, and I think, without question, he’s one of the best around.
Though he’s been shooting films since the early 1990’s, he came to notice with his beautiful photography on Joe Wright’s 2004 film version of Pride & Prejudice, with Keira Knightley, for which Osin received several award nominations for his work (I’ll even confess that I got the blu-ray DVD of the film because I think his work is so fantastic on the picture).
He has an interesting background being of German/Nigerian descent, born in Leipzig (in what was back then, before the collapse of the Berlin Wall), East Germany. He studied at the National Film and Televsion School in the U.K., and started out as a music video director and still photographer which he still does.
He has some over 35 films and shorts so far to his credit, almost entirely in U.K., though his most recent work before Won’t Back Down, was on a German TV movise, Die Sterntaler (Star Money)
However, I still recall reading a short article about him a few years ago in which he said his great dream was to photograph a western movie. I hope his dream comes true one day.
And aside from that, the guy’s got some serious dreads. So make sure to check out his work when you can.