The rants and raves of a teenage cinephile who is just a little bit obsessed with Catherine O'Hara and Hayao Miyazaki.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Golden Cornea Awards 2011: The Cinematography

The awardage continues! Now one of my favorite categories, cinematography. I'm telling you, if a sucky movie has amazing cinematography, I'll love it. ;)

5. Bill Pope - "Scott Pilgrim Vs the World"

I know it seems like "Scott" has shown up everywhere but it does deserve it, haha. Pope's work is fun and colorful but also surprisingly sensitive (that shot of Scott and Ramona on the swings, for example) and the action sequences are perfectly absorbing thanks to his focused camerawork.

4. Anthony Dod Mantle - "127 Hours"

"127 Hours" was no easy feat for a cinematographer - after all, you're trapped in a small crevasse for most of the movie. Yet, Mantle rises and surpasses this challenge. We feel just as trapped as Ralston - and when the sunlight touches his foot, we feel it too. Also, notice how the beautiful colors begin to fade as the hours pass...a subtle but wonderful touch.

3. Kyung-Pyo Hong - "Mother"

What I love most about Hong's work on "Mother" is how perfect his color scheme is. The monochromatic tones allow the frightening injections of red (blood, Mother's clothing) to stand out beautifully. The closing shot and opening shots are especially unbelievable.

2. Yorick le Saux - "I Am Love"

There's no questioning the artistic merit of "I Am Love" and the cinematography is one of its greatest assets. Every scene is so gorgeously lit and shot that it's impossible to look away - Le Saux knows what beauty is and works it in so well.

1. Matthew Libatique - "Black Swan"

Libatique masterfully frames every shot of "Black Swan" with beauty and power. We swirl with Nina while she dances, stalk her as she walks, and descend into madness just as she does because of the camera's absorbing lens.

Honorable Mentions: It was such a good year for cinematography, that it's actually sad that I couldn't include the wonderful work on True Grit, Shutter Island or The Social Network, all three of which might have made this list on any other day! Other notable efforts include The King's Speech and Greenberg.

What movies were your cinematographic favorites this year? Let me know in the comments! :)


  1. you know i regret not mentioning black swan on my own blog for cinematography.
    there are just way too many images from the film that are etched in my memory and that usually doesn't happen unless the images are relateable to the film itself for me.

    oh well...

  2. haha on another note,
    do you think academy members, or other awards body members ever look back a week after and think, oh crap, i wish i'd included that one?
    lol funny how film history can be changed this easily.

  3. Amir, I'm sure they do! Hahaha! I mean, I know for myself I do it all the time, except their decisions aren't just published on a blog...they're published, as you said, into the record books of film history...haha

  4. Can't question Black Swan at the top even though I'm usually more impressed with exterior shots ;)

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