ASC Awards Nominees Include ‘Dune,’ ‘Power of the Dog,’ ‘Tragedy of Macbeth’

The American Society of Cinematographers also nominated "Nightmare Alley" and the black-and-white "Belfast."
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Bruno Delbonnel (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”), Greig Fraser (“Dune”), Dan Laustsen (“Nightmare Alley”), Ari Wegner (“The Power of the Dog”), and Haris Zambarloukos (“Belfast”) were nominated Tuesday for the 36th annual ASC Awards (a hybrid in-person and live streamed event March 20 at the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood).

Spotlight nominees included Ruben Impens for “Titane,” Pat Scola for “Pig,” and Adolpho Veloso for “Jockey,” and documentary recipients were Jessica Beshir for “Faya Dayi,” Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hill for “Cusp,” and Daniel Schönauer for “The Hidden Life of Trees.”

This marks the fifth ASC nomination for Delbonnel (with five Oscar nominations), the second for Fraser (Oscar-nominated for “Lion”) and Laustsen (“The Shape of Water”), and the first for Wegner (only the second woman to be nominated besides Oscar nominee Rachel Morrison for “Mudbound”) and Zambarloukos. Also significant are two black-and-white film nominations (“Belfast” and “The Tragedy of Macbeth”) on the heels of Erik Messerschmidt’s “Mank” win last year (who won the Oscar). Indeed, this is the first time there are two monochromatic nominees (three if you count the alternative 35mm black-and-white print for “Nightmare Alley” currently screening) since the theatrical/feature category was introduced in 1986.

“West Side Story’s” Janusz Kamiński, a six-time ASC nominee, but who has never actually won, didn’t make the cut for Steven Spielberg’s Best Picture contender. However, the two-time Oscar winner (“Saving Private Ryan” and “Schindler’s List”) could still sneak into the race.

Fraser, though, is the favorite for Denis Villeneuve’s expansive yet intimate “Dune,” with its dangerous mix of politics and religion, centered around Timothée Chalamet’s messianic Paul Atreides. It was photographed in large format by Fraser, who alternated between the digital Alexa LF and IMAX 65mm cameras (for Paul’s surreal dreams and visions on the harsh and desolate desert planet Arrakis, shot mainly in Jordan).

With “The Power of the Dog,” Jane Campion’s western about toxic masculinity, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Wegner shot large-format with the Alexa LF (and vintage anamorphic Ultra Panatar lenses) to take advantage of the vast landscapes in New Zealand (filling in for Montana). The exteriors are bright and de-saturated, while the interiors of the ranch house, with its European-style wood design, have a dark, shadowy, foreboding.

Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” starring Denzel Washington and McDormand, relied on Delbonnel to convey a modern black-and-white look with the Alexa LF as part of an abstract, noirish adaptation of Shakespeare’s murder, mayhem, and madness. He used a combination of very hard shadows and soft light in the background, casting beams of light in hallways and up and down staircases.

Zambarloukos went digital black-and-white for Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical “Belfast,” his childhood remembrance of growing up in Northern Belfast during the violent conflict between Catholics and Protestants in 1969. The cinematographer used the Alexa Mini LF to evoke a combination of gritty naturalism and Hollywood sheen. Long, wide holds, impeccably framed in natural light, give room for performances to bloom in close-up.

For Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley” reworking, starring Bradley Cooper as the ruthless, social climbing grifter, Laustsen shot a classical three-point style and the color palette had an intentional monochromatic tone. He used the Alexa 65 and Signature Prime Lenses for an exquisite but extremely sharp image. He also put filters inside the camera for highlights and to add a beautiful glow to faces.

Feature Film
• Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC for “The Tragedy of Macbeth”
• Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS for “Dune”
• Dan Laustsen, ASC, DFF for “Nightmare Alley”
• Ari Wegner, ACS for “The Power of the Dog”
• Haris Zambarloukos, BSC, GSC for “Belfast”

• Ruben Impens, SBC for “Titane”
• Pat Scola for “Pig”
• Adolpho Veloso, ABC for “Jockey”

• Jessica Beshir for “Faya Dayi”
• Isabel Bethencourt and Parker Hill for “Cusp”
• Daniel Schönauer for “The Hidden Life of Trees”

Motion Picture, Limited Series, or Pilot Made for Television
• Steve Annis for “Foundation” – Pilot Episode: The Emperor’s Peace
• Tim Ives, ASC for “Halston” – Episode: The Party’s Over
• James Laxton, ASC for “The Underground Railroad” – Episode: Chapter 9: Indiana Winter
• Christophe Nuyens, SBC for “Lupin” – Pilot Episode: Chapter 1
• Ben Richardson, ASC for “Mare of Easttown” – Episode: Illusions

Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Non-Commercial
• Stuart Biddlecombe for “The Handmaid’s Tale” – Episode: The Wilderness
• David Garbett for “Sweet Tooth” – Episode: Big Man
• David Greene, ASC, CSC for “Chaplewaite”  – Episode: The Promised
• Jon Joffin, ASC for “Titans” – Episode: Souls
• Boris Mojsovski, ASC, CSC for “Titans” – Episode: Home
• Kate Reid, BSC for “The Nevers”– Episode: Hanged

Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Commercial
• Thomas Burstyn, CSC, NZSC for “Snowpiercer” – Episode: Our Answer for Everything
• Tommy Maddox-Upshaw, ASC for “Snowfall” – Episode: Weight
• Ronald Paul Richard for “Riverdale” – Episode: Chapter Eighty-Nine: Reservoir Dogs
• Brendan Steacy, CSC for “Clarice” – Episode: Silence is Purgatory
• David Stockton, ASC for “Mayans M.C.” – Episode: The Orneriness of Kings
• Gavin Struthers, ASC, BSC for “Superman & Lois” – Episode: Heritage

Episode of a Half-Hour Television Series
• Marshall Adams, ASC for “Servant” – Episode: 2:00
• Michael Berlucchi for “Mythic Quest” – Episode: Backstory!
• Adam Bricker for “Hacks” – Episode: There is No Line
• Paula Huidobro for “Physical” – Episode: Let’s Get Together
• Jaime Reynoso, AMC for “The Kominsky Method” – Episode: And it’s Getting More and More Absurd

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