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Roger Deakins & That Elusive Oscar – Is This His Year?


Consider this:

  • A filmography of 57 films
  • The go-to camera dude for the A-List directors like the Coens and Denis Villeneuve
  • 3 ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) awards
  • 3 BAFTA wins for Best Cinematography
  • 2 Independent Spirit Awards
  • 13 Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography
  • & ZERO Oscars!

Every category in the Academy Awards annual turkey shoot has at least one multiple nominee that has yet to win an Oscar. Glenn Close (Best Actress), Thomas Newman (Score), Greg P Russell (Sound), for example, are true head-shakers. One of the most egregious is the late Peter O’Toole’s record – arguably one of cinema’s greatest actors ever received eight nominations and failed to win a single gold knickknack.

Many of us have been on the Roger Deakins’ bandwagon for the past decade, crabbing that this artist/technician has been shunted aside 13 times despite his consistent ability to dazzle us with his numerous and varied visions. I’m not going to try and rationalize the AMPAS whimsy. Sometimes an artist gets to a point in their career where they are considered so brilliant and so successful that they actually end up competing with their past work and not with the other nominees. That’s my theory behind Meryl Streep’s ratio of nominations to wins and I’m certain that Roger Deakins is chained to the same post, and maybe it’s time to nod in his direction and acknowledge his contribution to the industry.

So instead of recycling the same old vitriol, I’m going to let 30 stills from a sampling of Roger Deakins’ work speak. Have a view of the three-minute slideshow, then tell me why…why does this most brilliant artist whose lens has elevated nearly 60 films not have an Oscar on his mantle.


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