March 4, 2018

Roger Deakins Finally Wins Best Cinematography Oscar After 14 Nominations

Dave Quinn/ People

Roger Deakins finally has his Oscar!

After 14 nominations in the category, the celebrated director of photography has finally won Oscar’s Best Cinematography trophy.

Deakins, 68, accepted the award on Sunday at the 90th annual Academy Awards for his work on Denis Villeneuve’Blade Runner 2049. 

He beat out fellow nominees Hoyte Van Hoytema (Dunkirk), Bruno Delbonnel (Darkest Hour), Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water), and Rachel Morrison (Mudbound).

“I really love my job,” Deakins said in his speech. “I’ve been doing it a long time, as you can see. But one of the reasons I love it is the people I work with. Some of my crew on Blade Runner I’ve been working with for 20 years. This is for every one of them.”

Deakins began his career in documentaries before making his feature film debut with 1990’s Mountains of the Moon. His first Oscar nomination came from 1994’s The Shawshank Redemption.

After collaborating with the Coen brothers in 1991’s Barton Fink, Deakins became the Coens’ main cinematic collaborator and principal cinematographer. Five of his nominations have come from Coen brothers collaborations: FargoO Brother, Where Art Thou?The Man Who Wasn’t ThereTrue Grit and No Country for Old Men.

Other nominations were for his work on KundunThe Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert FordThe ReaderSkyfallUnbroken, and two other Villeneuve films: Prisoners and Sicario.

All those losses never stopped Deakins from enjoying his job. “Oh, you know, I’m too old for all of that,” he told Variety in an interview about his bad luck with the Academy. “What you do doesn’t change. The fun is doing it.”

Though Deakins finally has his Oscar after 14-nominations, legendary cinematographer George J. Folsey doesn’t. Despite celebrated work in Executive Suite and Meet Me in St. Louis, the late lenser is the second-most nominated person in the category to never win the gold, with 13 nominations.

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