Shedding Light on the Worst Oscars Omissions for Cinematography
“Blade Runner,” “Taxi Driver,” and “The Godfather” defined the look of their eras, yet were passed over by the Oscar Committee.
The best cinematography redefines the way an audience sees the world, lets us experience human drama through entirely new eyes. It’s a shame, therefore, when the efforts of groundbreaking cinematographers go unrecognized by the Academy. Michael Chapman’s work on Taxi Driver (1976) palpably captured the grit and grime of 1970s New York City. Stanley Cortez’s use of light and shadow in Night of the Hunter remains as innovative today as it was in 1955. In the original Blade Runner (1982), Jordan Cronenweth’s stunning and prophetic visuals envisaged a future unlike any we’d seen before. Under Michel Gondry’s direction in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Ellen Kuras used a mix of natural light, handheld shooting, and in-camera practical effects to give life to Charlie Kaufman’s mind-bending narrative. And last, but certainly not least, in The Godfather (1972), Gordon Willis deftly mixed light and darkness to capture the moral ambiguity of the Corleone family’s saga. Official or not, we hope these cinematographers get the acknowledgment that they deserve.
And the “Oscar” goes to…