To nearly everyone, 13 is seen as an unlucky number, right? This will be the 13th time Roger Deakins, one of the greatest working cinematographers in the industry, has been nominated for an Academy Award. One would think, he would be a shoe in to win the award with the breadth of experience that he has and how he is able to effectively tell a story, but that is sadly not the case. Roger Deakins has never one an Oscar, yet he is considered one of the 'greats.'
This begs the question, does receiving an Academy Award matter? Some big names in today's industry, like Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, and Sigourney Weaver are in the same boat as Deakins. They constantly perform at a high level, but fail to have ever been recognized by the Academy. Perhaps one of the biggest snubs of all time is the late Stanley Kubrick, who was considered a master at his craft, but failed to receive an award for something he took a part in. Isn't it ironic that one of the greatest directors to ever live only won an Oscar for 'special effects,' something he didn't take part in? Many people have been written off by the Academy.
With people like Emmanuel Lubezki winning 'Best Cinematography' in the past two years, he may be in for a three year streak with his latest film, The Revenant. While Lubezki has done some amazing work, Deakins also deserves the award for being snubbed so many times in the past. With past films like: "Skyfall, The Shawshank Redemption, The Man Who Wasn’t There, Unbroken,True Grit, The Reader, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country for Old Men, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Kundun, Fargo and Prisoners," Being some of the few iconic films he has shot, there has been no luck on his side. It seems to be that the Academy likes to choose whatever Cinematography looks the best, but that is not necessarily what 'Best Cinematography' actually means. Deakins does not attempt to be as eye-dropping gorgeous as Lubezki, but he tries to shoot and portray a scene in a way that is the most effective to the audience. Great cinematography is something that goes unnoticed in films, because it allows the audience to get invested in the story, thinking about nothing else, but let's hope that Deakins receives the deserved attention he has been working so hard for.