One of the best cinematographers of all-time finally took home the grand prize at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday night. Roger A. Deakins won the Oscar for Achievement in Cinematography for his work on Blade Runner 2049.
Though the general reception on the film varies significantly, there is no denying the visuals by Deakins and their team created a beautiful and tangible futuristic world.
Even if you don’t know the name, you have for sure seen a movie in which Deakins has worked as the cinematographer: The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, A Beautiful Mind, and Skyfall, to name a few. Deakins frequently collaborates with the Coen brothers (Fargo and No Country For Old Men, for example) and Blade Runner 2049 was his third film with Denis Villeneuve after the 2013 film Prisoners and the 2015 film Sicario.
Deakins had been nominated for 13 Oscars and was yet to win. This was the third-longest string of winless nominations by a living artist in Academy Award. Thomas Newman, a composer, has been nominated 14 times and sound mixer Greg P. Russell has been nominated 16 times (last year, Kevin O’Connell won his first oscars after 21 nominations).
Deakins thanked the academy and his wife before saying:
“I really love my job. I’ve been doing it a long time, as you can see, but one of the reasons I really love it is the people I work with, both behind the camera and in front of the camera. This is for every one of them.”
The other nominees were Hoyte Van Hoytema for Dunkirk, Bruno Delbonnel for Darkest Hour, Dan Laustsen for The Shape Of Water (best picture winner) and Rachel Morrison for Mudbound. Morrison, of course, made history for being the first women to be nominated in the category.
Deakins was also the cinematographer on The Assassination of Jesse James by Coward Robert Ford. Love or hate the film, there is no doubt that he is an amazing artist and here is one of the most beautiful scenes:
Cover Photo credit: Chris Pizzello