Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
Blade Runner 2049 has won the Oscar for Best Cinematography at the 90th Academy Awards, besting the other Oscars 2018 nominees, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Mudbound, and The Shape of Water. But more importantly, the film’s cinematographer Roger Deakins has finally won his first Oscar after 14 nominations.
Deakins was first nominated in 1994, for his work on The Shawshank Redemption. In the 23 years since, his other Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography have included Fargo (1996), Kundun (1997), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), No Country for Old Men (2007), The Reader (2008), True Grit (2010), Skyfall (2012), Prisoners (2013), Unbroken (2014), and Sicario (2015).
Deakins’ third collaboration with director Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 was one of our favourite films from 2017, one that we described as “a haunting, contemplative tale”, and a fitting sequel to the 1982 cult original from director Ridley Scott. Deakins’ work was especially notable in Blade Runner 2049, as we noted then in our review:
“With the great Roger Deakins as cinematographer – who’s received thirteen Oscar nominations without a single win – Blade Runner 2049 crafts a visual palette that’s bolder than any of its counterparts today, evoking a sense of melancholy, isolation and dread by doubling-down on a Los Angeles the colour of ash, and a post-apocalyptic deserted Las Vegas suspended in a perma-cloud of tangerine; all of which is interspersed with bright neon colour offering a form of escape, both visually and in their purpose.”
While Deakins made history by winning, his fellow Oscars 2018 nominee Rachel Morrison (Mudbound) had done so simply by being nominated – she’s the first woman in Academy history to be nominated in the Best Cinematography category.
Deakins' win was the second win for Blade Runner 2049 at Oscars 2018, after it also picked up Best Visual Effects earlier in the night, up against Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Kong: Skull Island, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and War for the Planet of the Apes.