Moving on, let’s talk about cinematography. This is a tricky one. AMPAS apparently loves 3D now, so I’m thinking Life of Pi has an easy nomination here. But they also love lavish spectacles, so Les Miserables and Anna Karenina look likely. The Master has been singled out for its cinematography, and the stills I’ve seen are simply stunning. They can tend to go a little nuts for Best Picture nominees and nominate them here even when undeserving, so weighty biopics like Lincoln and early frontrunners like Argo could easily factor in here.
But there’s more.
They love Malick, and rightfully so, and he has To the Wonder this year which is framed beautifully. The Hobbit and Cloud Atlas look to be visual stunners, from a more storybook point of view, and they can favor that at times (look at how they gave that win to Hugo, which was also 3D). Tarantino films are usually visually impactful, and Nolan films are usually nominated here, so many are confident that The Dark Knight Rises is happening. I’m less confident considering that tepid reaction to the film and the fact that Inception just won here two years ago.
And then there is Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is one of those films that was praised for its cinematography and yet may be too small for an actual nomination here, especially against such heavy contenders.
And I’m considering Zero Dark Thirty as a serious threat in the techs, so I’m thinking that this could really happen.
Here's what I'm thinking ATM:
1) Les Miserables
2) Life of Pi
3) The Master
4) Zero Dark Thirty
5) The Impossible
This is just a hunch. Counting out Anna Karenina seems odd, but the reviews for the film were less than ecstatic, and there has to be a snubbed contender. I should probably be banking on Lincoln, but it looked so dark to me. Then again, they nominated War Horse, but that was also grander in scope (or at least looks so when comparing the trailers).