The look of a film was even more important during the silent era than today, for there was no dialogue to rely upon. It’s no surprise then that Best Cinematography is one of the original Academy Award categories, one of only three Tech categories, and the only one that remains with the same name. For a good thirty years it was divided in two and Black-and-White and Color were considered separately, but they were combined again in the late 60’s. It is also the only category to be won by a write-in: A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1935.

82 times a film has been nominated for only Cinematography, but only 4 of those actually won the Oscar, the last being in 1949 (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon). For a while after the reduction to 5 nominees in 1967, the single nominees fell off (only 4 in 20 years), but they seem to have made a comeback (16 in the 22 years since).

In terms of Best Picture, these days, it usually only wins if it’s a sweep. American Beauty and Braveheart are the only BP to win Cinematography without winning at least 7 Oscars since the nominees dropped to 5 back in 1967. And in 2006, for the first time in Oscar history, none of the Best Picture nominees were nominated for Cinematography.

As with many of the technical categories, the top point earners are almost all from the Studio Era, for three reasons.  The first is that until 1946, there were almost unlimited numbers of nominees.  The second is that, because they worked for the studios, the cinematographers were guaranteed constant work.  The third is that, until 1967, there were twice as many chances to get nominated due to the Black-and-White / Color split.  All of which makes the presence of Conrad Hall high up on the list even more impressive.  He is the only modern cinematographer to make the top 15.  Cinematography is like Best Score, in that it has very few nominees given the number of nominations.  There have been 565 nominations for Best Cinematography and only 222 different nominees.

Top Cinematographers:

  1. Leon Shamroy  –  550 points  (18 nominations, 4 Oscars)
  2. Charles Lang  –  475 points  (18 nominations, 1 Oscar)
  3. Robert Surtees  –  475 points  (16 nominations, 3 Oscars)
  4. Harry Stradling, Sr.  –  400 points  (14 nominations, 2 Oscars)
  5. Joseph Ruttenberg  –  350 points  (10 nominations, 4 Oscars)
  6. George L. Folsey  –  325 points  (13 nominations)
  7. Conrad Hall  –  325 points  (10 nomination, 3 Oscars)

Grade: Nominees: B / Winners: B- / Seen: 91.61% 97.35%

Honor Roll: Gunga Din / Strangers on a Train / One, Two, Three / Excalibur / Matewan / The Man Who Wasn’t There / House of Flying Daggers / Batman Begins / Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Shame Roll: Billy the Kid / Beneath the 12 Mile Reef / The Egyptian / The Formula / The Lover

(blue won Best Picture, red was nominated for Best Picture and purple was simply nominated for Best Cinematography and nothing else)

1928 AA: Sunrise / Devil Dancer / Magic Flame / Sadie Thompson

me: Sunrise / Metropolis / Tartuffe / Wings / The Circus

note:  According to Inside Oscar, Drums of Love, My Best Girl and The Tempest were nominated, but not according to the Academy itself.  Both Devil Dancer and Magic Flame are lost, like Four Devils, making this the only year in which I am missing more than one nominee.

note:  Re-watching Sunrise for my Best Picture history series, I was stunned at how amazing the Cinematography was.  I already had it as the best of the year, but I moved it into one of the best slots of all-time.

1929 AA: White Shadows in the South Seas / In Old Arizona / The Divine Lady / Four Devils / Our Dancing Daughters / Street Angel

me: Nosferatu / October / The Wind / The Fall of the House of Usher / Pandora’s Box

1930 AA: With Byrd at the South Pole / All Quiet in the Western Front / The Love Parade / Anna Christie / Hell’s Angels

me: Hell’s Angels / All Quiet on the Western Front / City Girl / Arsenal / Hallelujah / The General Line

1931 AA: Tabu / Cimarron / Morocco / The Right to Love / Svengali

me: City Lights / Dracula / Three Penny Opera / Earth / The Public Enemy

1932 AA: Shanghai Express / Arrowsmith / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

me: Vampyr / Scarface / Frankenstein / Freaks / Wooden Crosses

1933 AA: A Farewell to Arms / Reunion in Vienna / Sign of the Cross

me: M / King Kong / The Story of Temple Drake / The Invisible Man / I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang / Blood of a Poet

note:  Reunion in Vienna came in 2nd and Sign of the Cross came in 3rd according to Academy records.

1934 AA: Cleopatra / Affairs of Cellini / Operator 13

me: The Black Cat / The Thin Man / Mauvaise Graine / Scarlett Empress / The Story of Floating Weeds

note:  Operator 13 came in 2nd and Affairs of Cellini came in 3rd according to Academy records.

1935 AA: A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Les Miserables / Barbary Coast / The Crusades

me: Bride of Frankenstein / A Midsummer Night’s Dream / The 39 Steps / The Informer / Les Miserables

note:  Les Miserables came in 2nd and The Crusades came in 3rd according to Academy records.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a write-in, the only one to ever win the Oscar.

1936 AA: Anthony Adverse / The General Died at Dawn / The Gorgeous Hussy

me: Modern Times / The Petrified Forest / A Tale of Two Cities / The Secret Agent / Fury

1937 AA: The Good Earth / Dead End / Wings Over Honolulu

me: You Only Live Once / Lost Horizon / La Marseillaise / A Star is Born / Sabotage / The Lower Depths

1938 AA: The Great Waltz / You Can’t Take It With You / Jezebel / Algiers / Army Girl / The Buccaneer / Mad About Music / Merrily We Live / Suez / Vivacious Lady / The Young in Heart

me: The Adventures of Robin Hood / The Grand Illusion / Angels with Dirty Faces / Algiers / You Can’t Take It With You

1939 AA (B&W): Wuthering Heights / Stagecoach / First Love / The Great Victor Herbert / Gunga Din / Intermezzo / Juarez / Lady of the Tropics / Only Angels Have Wings / The Rains Came

1939 AA (C): Gone with the Wind / The Wizard of Oz / Drums Along the Mohawk / Four Feathers / The Mikado / The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

me: The Wizard of Oz / Gone with the Wind / Wuthering Heights / Alexander Nevsky / Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

1940 AA (B&W): Rebecca / All This and Heaven Too / Foreign Correspondant / The Letter / The Long Voyage Home / Abe Lincoln in Illinois / Arise My Love / Boom Town / Spring Parade / Waterloo Bridge

1940 AA (C): The Thief of Bagdad / Bitter Sweet / The Blue Bird / Down Argentine Way / North West Mounted Police / Northwest Passage

me: Rebecca / The Grapes of Wrath / La Bete Humaine / The Sea Hawk / The Great Dictator

1941 AA (B&W): How Green Was My Valley / Citizen Kane / Hold Back the Dawn / Sergeant York / Here Comes Mr. Jordan / The Chocolate Soldier / Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde / Sun Valley Serenade / Sundown / That Hamilton Woman

1941 AA (C): Blood and Sand / Blossoms in the Dust / Aloma of the South Seas / Billy the Kid / Dive Bomber / Louisiana Purchase

me: Citizen Kane / The Maltese Falcon / How Green Was My Valley / Pepe le Moko / High Sierra

note:  I find this loss for Citizen Kane a more egregious offense than it losing Best Picture.  The shots on this film changed film history.

1942 AA (B&W): Mrs. Miniver / Kings Row / The Magnificent Ambersons / The Pied Piper / The Pride of the Yankees / The Talk of the Town / Moontide / Take a Letter, Darling / Ten Gentlemen from West Point / This Above All

1942 AA (C): The Black Swan / Arabian Knights / Captains of the Clouds / Jungle Book / Reap the Wild Wind / To the Shores of Tripoli

me: The Magnificent Ambersons / Yankee Doodle Dandy / Arabian Knights / King’s Row / Sullivan’s Travels

1943 AA (B&W): The Song of Bernadette / Casablanca / The Human Comedy / Madame Curie / Air Force / Corvette K-225 / Five Graves to Cairo / The North Star / Sahara / So Proudly We Hail

1943 AA (C): The Phantom of the Opera / For Whom the Bell Tolls / Heaven Can Wait / Hello, Frisco, Hello / Lassie Come Home / Thousands Cheer

me: Casablanca / Shadow of a Doubt / For Whom the Bell Tolls / The Phantom of the Opera / The Ox-Bow Incident

1944 AA (B&W): Laura / Going My Way / Double Indemnity / Gaslight / Since You Went Away / Dragon Seed / Lifeboat / Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo / The Uninvited / The White Cliffs of Dover

1944 AA (C): Wilson / Cover Girl / Home in Indiana / Kismet / Lady in the Dark / Meet Me in St. Louis

me: Double Indemnity / Gaslight / Arsenic and Old Lace / Ministry of Fear / Lifeboat

1945 AA (B&W): The Picture of Dorian Gray / The Lost Weekend / Mildred Pierce / Spellbound / The Keys of the Kingdom

1945 AA (C): Leave Her to Heaven / Anchors Aweigh / National Velvet / A Song to Remember / The Spanish Main

me: Spellbound / The Lost Weekend / To Have and Have Not / The Southerner / The Picture of Dorian Gray

1946 AA (B&W): Anna and the King of Siam / The Green Years

1946 AA (C): The Yearling / The Jolson Story

me: Children of Paradise / The Big Sleep / Notorious / Henry V / Brief Encounter

1947 AA (B&W): Great Expectations / The Ghost and Mrs. Muir / Green Dolphin Street

1947 AA (C): Black Narcissus / Life with Father / Mother Wore Tights

me: La Belle et La Bette / Great Expectations / Ivan the Terrible Part I / Brighton Rock / Brute Force / I See a Dark Stranger

1948 AA (B&W): The Naked City / Johnny Belinda / A Foreign Affair / I Remember Mama / Portrait of Jennie

1948 AA (C): Joan of Arc / Green Grass of Wyoming / The Loves of Carmen / The Three Musketeers

me: Treasure of the Sierra Madre / Hamlet / The Lady from Shanghai / Red River / The Naked City

1949 AA (B&W): Battleground / The Heiress / Champion / Come to the Stable / Prince of Foxes

1949 AA (C): She Wore a Yellow Ribbon / The Barkleys of Broadway / Jolson Sings Again / Little Women / Sand

me: The Bicycle Thief / A Canterbury Tale / Champion / Yellow Sky / White Heat

1950 AA (B&W): The Third Man / All About Eve / Sunset Boulevard / The Asphalt Jungle / The Furies

1950 AA (C): King Solomon’s Mines / Annie Get Your Gun / Broken Arrow / The Flame and the Arrow / Samson and Delilah

me: Sunset Boulevard / The Third Man / Night and the City / The Asphalt Jungle / All About Eve

1951 AA (B&W): A Place in the Sun / A Streetcar Named Desire / Death of a Salesman / The Frogmen / Strangers on a Train

1951 AA (C): An American in Paris / Quo Vadis / David and Bathsheba / Show Boat / When Worlds Collide

me: Strangers on a Train / A Streetcar Named Desire / Oliver Twist / Detective Story / Ace in the Hole

1952 AA (B&W): The Bad and the Beautiful / The Big Sky / My Cousin Rachel / Navajo / Sudden Fear

1952 AA (C): The Quiet Man / Ivanhoe / Hans Christian Anderson / Million Dollar Mermaid / The Snows of Kilimanjaro

me: Rashomon / High Noon / Moulin Rouge / Miss Julie / Testament of Dr. Mabuse

1953 AA (B&W): From Here to Eternity / Julius Caesar / Roman Holiday / The Four Poster / Martin Luther

1953 AA (C): Shane / The Robe / All the Brothers Were Valiant / Beneath the 12 Mile Reef / Lili

me: From Here to Eternity / The Big Heat / Stalag 17 / Pickup on South Street / Fear and Desire

1954 AA (B&W): On the Waterfront / The Country Girl / Executive Suite / Rogue Cop / Sabrina

1954 AA (C): Three Coins in the Fountain / Seven Brides for Seven Brothers / The Egyptian / Rear Window / The Silver Chalice

me: Rear Window / On the Waterfront / Gate of Hell / Wuthering Heights / Sabrina

note:  This is one of the most ridiculous Oscars in history.  Three Coins in the Fountain beat Rear Window?

1955 AA (B&W): The Rose Tattoo / Marty / Blackboard Jungle / I’ll Cry Tomorrow / Queen Bee

1955 AA (C): To Catch a Thief / Love is a Many-Splendored Thing / Guys and Dolls / A Man Called Peter / Oklahoma!

me: To Catch a Thief / Night of the Hunter / Othello / Samurai I / Ugetsu

1956 AA (B&W): Somebody Up There Likes Me / Baby Doll / The Bad Seed / The Harder They Fall / Stagecoach to Fury

1956 AA (C): Around the World in 80 Days / The King and I / The 10 Commandments / The Eddy Duchin Story / War and Peace

me: The Seven Samurai / Sawdust and Tinsel / The Killing / Diabolique / Baby Doll

1957 AA: The Bridge on the River Kwai / Peyton Place / Sayonara / An Affair to Remember / Sayonara

me: The Bridge on the River Kwai / Paths of Glory / Smiles of a Summer Night / Sweet Smell of Success / Nights of Cabiria

1958 AA (B&W): The Defiant Ones / Separate Tables / Desire Under the Elms / I Want to Live! / The Young Lions

1958 AA (C): Gigi / Auntie Mame / Cat on a Hot Tin Roof / The Old Man and the Sea / South Pacific

me: Touch of Evil / The Seventh Seal / Vertigo / Death of a Cyclist / Pather Panchali / Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

1959 AA (B&W): The Diary of Anne Frank / Anatomy of a Murder / Career / Some Like It Hot / The Young Philadelphians

1959 AA (C): Ben-Hur / The Nun’s Story / The Big Fisherman / The Five Pennies / Porgy and Bess

me: North by Northwest / Ivan the Terrible Part II / Aparajito / Ben-Hur / Drunken Angel

1960 AA (B&W): Sons and Lovers / The Apartment / The Facts of Life / Inherit the Wind / Psycho

1960 AA (C): Spartacus / The Alamo / Butterfield 8 / Exodus / Pepe

me: The Virgin Spring / Psycho / Spartacus / Ikiru / The Hidden Fortress

1961 AA (B&W): The Hustler / Judgment at Nuremberg / The Absent-Minded Professor / The Children’s Hour / One, Two, Three

1961 AA (C): West Side Story / Fanny / Flower Drum Song / A Majority of One / One-Eyed Jacks

me: Throne of Blood / West Side Story / Yojimbo / La Dolce Vita / L’Aventurra

1962 AA (B&W): The Longest Day / To Kill a Mockingbird / Bird Man of Alcatraz / Two for the Seasaw / What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

1962 AA (C): Lawrence of Arabia / Mutiny on the Bounty / Gypsy / Hatari / The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

me: Lawrence of Arabia / Through a Glass Darkly / Ride the High Country / To Kill a Mockingbird / Billy Budd

1963 AA (B&W): Hud! / Lilies of the Field / The Balcony / The Caretakers / Love with the Proper Stranger

1963 AA (C): Cleopatra / How the West Was Won / The Cardinal / Irma La Douce / It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

me: Stray Dog / Knife in the Water / 8 1/2 / Winter Light / High and Low

1964 AA (B&W): Zorba the Greek / The Americanization of Emily / Fate is the Hunter / Hush . . . Hush Sweet Charlotte / The Night of the Iguana

1964 AA (C): My Fair Lady / Becket / Mary Poppins / Cheyenne Autumn / The Unsinkable Molly Brown

me: Harakiri / Mary Poppins / My Fair Lady / Night of the Iguana / Dr. Strangelove

1965 AA (B&W): Ship of Fools / In Harm’s Way / King Rat / Morituri / A Patch of Blue

1965 AA (C): Doctor Zhivago / The Sound of Music / The Agony and the Ecstasy / The Great Race / The Greatest Story Ever Told

me: Doctor Zhivago / Repulsion / The Pawnbroker / Kwaidan / Red Desert

1966 AA (B&W): Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf / The Fortune Cookie / Georgy Girl / Is Paris Burning / Seconds

1966 (C): A Man for All Seasons / The Sand Pebbles / Fantastic Voyage / Hawaii / The Professionals

me: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf / The Professionals / Hamlet / Cul-de-Sac / A Man for All Seasons

1967 AA: Bonnie and Clyde / Doctor Dolittle / The Graduate / Camelot / In Cold Blood

me: Bonnie and Clyde / In Cold Blood / Elvira Madigan / Point Blank / Persona

1968 AA: Romeo and Juliet / Oliver! / Funny Girl / Ice Station Zebra / Star!

me: 2001: A Space Odyssey / The Good, the Bad and the Ugly / Rosemary’s Baby / Hour of the Wolf / Bullitt

note:  So, the mostly uninteresting shots in Ice Station Zebra and Star! were worth nominations but the amazing shots in 2001 weren’t?

1969 AA: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid / Anne of the Thousand Days / Hello Dolly! / Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice / Marooned

me: The Wild Bunch / Oh, What a Lovely War / Once Upon a Time in the West / Z / Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

1970 AA: Ryan’s Daughter / Patton / Airport / Tora! Tora! Tora! / Women in Love

me: Ryan’s Daughter / Patton / Women in Love / M*A*S*H / Floating Weeds

note:  David Lean only directed 16 films, but 5 of them won Best Cinematography.

1971 AA: Fiddler on the Roof / The French Connection / The Last Picture Show / Nicholas and Alexandra / Summer of ’42

me: A Clockwork Orange / The French Connection / McCabe and Mrs. Miller / Walkabout / The Last Picture Show

note:  It still boggles my mind that while The French Connection won 5 Oscars, it managed to lost both Cinematography and Sound to Fiddler on the Roof.

1972 AA: Cabaret / Butterflies are Free / The Poseidon Adventure / “1776” / Travels with My Aunt

me: The Godfather / Cabaret / Deliverance / Sleuth / The Emigrants

note:  From 1966 to 1976, only one film nominated for Best Cinematography received no other nominations: the mostly boring “1776”.  Yet, The Godfather, with some of the most well known shots in all of film history, with perhaps one of the greatest shots (the capturing of one half light / one half darkness on the face of Michael when he confronts Carlo) failed to earn a nomination.  This is all about Gordon Willis.  Willis is one the best cinematographers of all-time, shooting all three Godfather films, many of Woody Allen’s best films, not to mention Klute and All the President’s Men.  Yet, in his career, he only earned two nominations before finally getting an Honorary Oscar this year that essentially says, the cinematographers were fools for ignoring you.

1973 AA: Cries and Whispers / The Sting / The Exorcist / Jonathan Livingston Seagull / The Way We Were

me: Cries and Whispers / The Exorcist / Last Tango in Paris / Mean Streets / Serpico

1974 AA: The Towering Inferno / Chinatown / Lenny / Earthquake / Murder on the Orient Express

me: Chinatown / The Godfather Part II / The Conversation / Young Frankenstein / The Parallax View

1975 AA: Barry Lyndon / One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest / The Day of the Locust / Funny Lady / The Hindenburg

me: Barry Lyndon / Jaws / The Man Who Would Be King / Korol Lir / Dog Day Afternoon

1976 AA: Bound for Glory / Network / King Kong / Logan’s Run / A Star is Born

me: Taxi Driver / All the President’s Men / Carrie / Bound for Glory / The Outlaw Josey Wales

1977 AA: Close Encounters of the Third Kind / Julia / The Turning Point / Islands in the Stream / Looking for Mr. Goodbar

me: Star Wars / Close Encounters of the Third Kind / Aguirre – The Wrath of God / Dersu Uzala / Annie Hall

1978 AA: Days of Heaven / The Deer Hunter / Heaven Can Wait / Same Time, Next Year / The Wiz

me: The Deer Hunter / Days of Heaven / Autumn Sonata / The Ascent / Midnight Express / Interiors

1979 AA: Apocalypse Now / Kramer vs Kramer / All That Jazz / The Black Hole / 1941

me: Apocalypse Now / Alien / Manhattan / Picnic at Hanging Rock / All That Jazz

1980 AA: Tess / Raging Bull / Coal Miner’s Daughter / The Blue Lagoon / The Formula

me: Raging Bull / Kagemusha / The Elephant Man / The Shining / Tess

1981 AA: Reds / On Golden Pond / Raiders of the Lost Ark / Excalibur / Ragtime

me: Raiders of the Lost Ark / Excalibur / Reds / Gallipoli / Body Heat

1982 AA: Gandhi / E.T. / Tootsie / Das Boot / Sophie’s Choice

me: Das Boot / Fitzcarraldo / Sophie’s Choice / Gandhi / Blade Runner

1983 AA: Fanny & Alexander / The Right Stuff / Flashdance / Wargames / Zelig

me: Fanny and Alexander / The Right Stuff / The Big Chill / Zelig / King of Comedy

1984 AA: The Killing Fields / Amadeus / A Passage to India / The Natural / The River

me: A Passage to India / Amadeus / The Killing Fields / The Cotton Club / Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

1985 AA: Out of Africa / The Color Purple / Witness / Murphy’s Romance / Ran

me: Ran / Blood Simple / Brazil / The Color Purple / After Hours

1986 AA: The Mission / Platoon / A Room with a View / Peggy Sue Got Married / Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

me: Platoon / The Mission / A Room with a View / Blue Velvet / Mona Lisa

1987 AA: The Last Emperor / Broadcast News / Hope and Glory / Empire of the Sun / Matewan

me: Empire of the Sun / Full Metal Jacket / The Last Emperor / Matewan / Hope and Glory

1988 AA: Mississippi Burning / Rain Man / Tequila Sunrise / The Unbearable Lightness of Being / Who Framed Roger Rabbit

me: Die Hard / The Unbearable Lightness of Being / Last Temptation of Christ / Dangerous Liaisons / Wings of Desire

1989 AA: Glory / Born on the Fourth of July / The Abyss / Blaze / The Fabulous Baker Boys

me: Glory / Born on the Fourth of July / Henry V / Batman / Field of Dreams

1990 AA: Dances with Wolves / The Godfather Part III / Avalon / Dick Tracy / Henry & June

me: GoodFellas / Miller’s Crossing / Dances with Wolves / The Grifters / Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams

1991 AA: JFK / Bugsy / The Prince of Tides / Terminator 2: Judgment Day / Thelma & Louise

me: Silence of the Lambs / JFK / Bugsy / The Fisher King / Homicide

1992 AA: A River Runs Through It / Unforgiven / Howards End / Hoffa / The Lover

me: Last of the Mohicans / Unforgiven / A River Runs Through It / Raise the Red Lantern / The Crying Game

1993 AA: Schindler’s List / The Fugitive / The Piano / Farewell, My Concubine / Searching for Bobby Fischer

me: Schindler’s List / The Age of Innocence / Blue / The Piano / In the Name of the Father

1994 AA: Legends of the Fall / Forrest Gump / The Shawshank Redemption / Red / Wyatt Earp

me: Ed Wood / Red / Wyatt Earp / Interview with the Vampire / The Scent of Green Papaya

1995 AA: Braveheart / Sense and Sensibility / Batman Forever / A Little Princess / Shanghai Triad

me: Sense and Sensibility / The Usual Suspects / Shanghai Triad / Leaving Las Vegas / Apollo 13

1996 AA: The English Patient / Fargo / Evita / Fly Away Home / Michael Collins

me: The English Patient / Lone Star / Fargo / Michael Collins / Trainspotting

1997 AA: Titanic / L.A. Confidential / The Wings of the Dove / Amistad / Kundun

me: L.A. Confidential / Boogie Nights / Amistad / Kundun / The Sweet Hereafter

1998 AA: Saving Private Ryan / Shakespeare in Love / Elizabeth / The Thin Red Line / A Civil Action

me: Saving Private Ryan / The Thin Red Line / Elizabeth / Gods and Monsters / Out of Sight

1999 AA: American Beauty / The Insider / The End of the Affair / Sleepy Hollow / Snow Falling on Cedars

me: The End of the Affair / Eyes Wide Shut / American Beauty / Sleepy Hollow / Magnolia

2000 AA: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / Gladiator / Oh Brother, Where Art Thou / Malena / The Patriot

me: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon / The Virgin Suicides / Oh Brother, Where Art Thou / The Claim / Traffic

2001 AA: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring / Moulin Rouge! / Black Hawk Down / Amelie / The Man Who Wasn’t There

me: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring / The Man Who Wasn’t There / Moulin Rouge / Black Hawk Down / Mulholland Drive

note:  I fail to understand how Fellowship could be worthy of the Oscar, yet the other two not worthy of nominations.  I think the cinematographers just decided, well, we’ve given it one, let’s spread it around.

2002 AA: The Road to Perdition / Chicago / The Pianist / Gangs of New York / Far From Heaven

me: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / Gangs of New York / Road to Perdition / The Pianist / Minority Report

2003 AA: Master and Commander: Far Side of the World / Seabiscuit / Cold Mountain / City of God / Girl with a Pearl Earring

me: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King / Mystic River / City of God / Master and Commander: Far Side of the World / Kill Bill Volume 1

2004 AA: The Aviator / Passion of the Christ / Phantom of the Opera / House of Flying Daggers / A Very Long Engagement

me: The Aviator / House of Flying Daggers / Hero / A Very Long Engagement / Kill Bill Volume 2

note:  Amazingly enough, this was the first win for a Scorsese film and only the fourth nomination.

2005 AA: Memoirs of a Geisha / Brokeback Mountain / Good Night and Good Luck / Batman Begins / A New World

me: Munich / King Kong / Brokeback Mountain / Memoirs of a Geisha / Pride and Prejudice

2006 AA: Pan’s Labyrinth / Children of Men / The Black Dahlia / The Illusionist / The Prestige

me: Children of Men / Pan’s Labyrinth / The Prestige / The Fountain / The Departed

2007 AA: There Will Be Blood / No Country for Old Men / Atonement / The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford / The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

me: Atonement / There Will Be Blood / No Country for Old Men / Eastern Promises / The Bourne Ultimatum

note:  There Will Be Blood was amazing and in almost any other year, it would be my winner.  But watch that unbroken 5 minute shot when Robby arrives at Dunkirk again.

2008 AA: Slumdog Millionaire / The Curious Case of Benjamin Button / The Reader / The Dark Knight / Changeling

me: The Dark Knight / Slumdog Millionaire / Milk / Revolutionary Road / The Reader

2009 AA: The Hurt Locker / Inglourious Basterds / Avatar / The White Ribbon / Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

me:  Inglourious Basterds / The Hurt Locker / The White Ribbon / Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince / District 9

Honorary Mentions: The World of Apu (1960) / Ivan’s Childhood (1963) / Don’t Look Now (1974) / Mississippi Burning (1988) / Avalon (1990) / The Player (1992) / The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) / Heaven (2002) / The Constant Gardener (2005) / Zodiac (2007)

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