Roger Deakins thinks the Oscars are too full of themselves to nominate popular movies for Best Cinematography.
Every year when the Academy Award nominations are announced, there is always just as much focus on who got snubbed as who got recognized, with even the technical categories coming under scrutiny. Now, the legendary Roger Deakins is calling out the Oscars for their “snobbery” in the Best Cinematography category.
“The best cinematography hasn’t been nominated,” said Roger Deakins of this year’s Oscar nominees. As far as which movie he felt had the best cinematography of 2022, “It’s The Batman. That’s the best work in my view.” Despite a snub in that category, The Batman does have three nominations total.
So why wasn’t The Batman–or Top Gun: Maverick, another movie Deakins cited as having extraordinary cinematography–nominated? “The reason it wasn’t is pure and simple: snobbery. There’s this unfair tendency to avoid the Marvel universe and the other popular universes,” said Deakins.
Deakins probably has a point. Taking a look at the Best Cinematography Oscar nominees this year, none are the sort of fare Deakins is referring to: All Quiet on the Western Front; Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths; Elvis; Empire of Light; Tár. At the same time, one wonders if Deakins would have forfeited his Empire of Light nod (his 16th nomination, a near-record) so The Batman or Top Gun: Maverick could get its due…Of note, Deakins did get a nomination for “popular universe” movie Skyfall, in addition to getting his first win for Blade Runner 2049.
Objectively, Top Gun: Maverick should have been nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar and its exclusion is undoubtedly one of the biggest snubs and surprise disses of the year. After all, it seemed well on its way to not just a nomination but a victory after winning the National Board of Review’s related category.
This year’s odds-on favorite to win the Best Cinematography Oscar is All Quiet on the Western Front–and we’re fairly certain WWI anti-war movies don’t qualify as being part of a “popular universe.”
What do you think? Should The Batman or Top Gun: Maverick have been nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar? Does the Academy have a prejudice against those sorts of movies? Let us know your take in the comments section below!