'Cherry' Is the Biggest Surprise Among This Year's ASC Nominees for Best Cinematography — See the Full List
All season long it's been 'Nomadland,' 'Mank' and 'The Trial of the Chicago 7,' so this is refreshing, even if it's odd.
The American Society of Cinematographers has announced the feature nominees for its upcoming virtual ceremony, and Apple's Tom Holland movie Cherry was among the surprising inclusions.
While the film was directed by the Russo brothers, it was shot by Newton Thomas Sigel, who was nominated alongside top Oscar contenders such as Nomadland (Joshua James Richards), Mank (Erik Messerschmidt), The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Phedon Papamichael) and News of the World (Dariusz Wolski).
The nomination marks the very first for veteran DP Sigel, which is kind of crazy to think about, since he shot The Usual Suspects more than 25 years ago! His nomination for Cherry may have been bolstered by his work on another streaming title, Da 5 Bloods, which remains my personal preference. I just thought that Cherry was an example of style over substance and kind of all over the place visually, but I suppose that was the point, as it reflected its protagonist's jumbled state of mind.
Also earning their first ASC nominations on Wednesday were Mank's Messerschmidt, who regardless of my thoughts on the black-and-white film itself, did a terrific job for a very demanding director, and Richards, who captured beautiful images of the American West in Nomadland. Both cinematographers seem to have developed a shorthand with their respective directors, David Fincher and Chloé Zhao, having previously worked with them on Mindhunter and The Rider.
Papamichael scored his fifth ASC feature nomination, which comes on the heels of his remarkable work on Ford v Ferrari, while Wolski, a favorite of directors Ridley Scott and Tim Burton, was previously nominated for Crimson Tide. Wolski also earned a BAFTA nomination this week along with Messerschmidt and Richards, though Sean Bobbitt (Judas and the Black Messiah) and Alwin H. Küchler (The Mauritanian) replaced Sigel and Papamichael on that ballot.
On the TV side of the ledger, Greig Fraser and Baz Idoine earned a pair of nominations for separate episodes of The Mandalorian, while my beloved Fargo will square off against Watchmen for a top award. It was also nice to see Katelin Arizmendi recognized for her work on the acclaimed indie thriller Swallow. Finally, Sofia Coppola will receive the ASC Board of Governors Award during this year's presentation.
The ASC will announce the winners of its 35th edition on April 18 during a virtual ceremony that will be live-streamed on American Cinematographer's Facebook page starting at 12:30 p.m. PDT from the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood. The ASC winner has won six of the last 10 Oscars for Best Cinematography, including last year's victor Roger Deakins, who won both awards for 1917. The complete list of ASC nominations is below.
Erik Messerschmidt, ASC for Mank
Phedon Papamichael, ASC, GSC for The Trial of the Chicago 7
Joshua James Richards for Nomadland
Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC for Cherry
Dariusz Wolski, ASC for News of the World
Katelin Arizmendi for Swallow
Aurélien Marra for Two of Us
Andrey Naydenov for Dear Comrades!
Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw for The Truffle Hunters
Viktor Kosakovskiy and Egil Håskjold Larsen for Gunda
Gianfranco Rosi for Notturno
Motion Picture, Limited Series, or Pilot Made for Television
Martin Ahlgren, ASC for The Plot Against America, “Part 6”
Anette Haellmigk for The Great, “The Great”
Pete Konczal for Fargo, “The Birthplace of Civilization”
Steven Meizler for The Queen’s Gambit, “End Game”
Gregory Middleton, ASC, CSC for Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being”
Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Commercial
Marshall Adams, ASC for Better Call Saul, “Bagman”
Carlos Catalán for Killing Eve, “Meetings Have Biscuits”
François Dagenais, CSC for Project Blue Book, “Area 51”
Jon Joffin, ASC for Motherland: Fort Salem, “Up is Down”
Kim Miles, ASC, CSC, MySC for Project Blue Book, “Operation Mainbrace”
Episode of a One-Hour Television Series – Non-Commercial
David Franco for Perry Mason, “Chapter 2”
Ken Glassing for Lucifer, “It Never Ends Well for the Chicken”
Adriano Goldman, ASC, ABC, BSC for The Crown, “Fairytale”
David Greene, ASC, CSC for Impulse, “The Moroi”
David Mullen, ASC for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “It’s Comedy or Cabbage”
Fabian Wagner, ASC, BSC for The Crown, “Imbroglio”
Episode of a Half-Hour Television Series
Ava Berkofsky for Insecure, “Lowkey Lost”