Matt Grobar/ Deadline
In his 14th go-round, Roger Deakins has finally won the Best Cinematography Oscar, scoring the victory Sunday for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic.
“I guess I’d better say something, or else they’ll give me a jet ski, and I can’t see myself on a jet ski somehow,” Deakins joked in his brief acceptance speech (see it in full above). “I really love my job. I’ve been doing it a long time, as you can see, but one of the reasons I really love it is the people I work wit, both behind the camera and in front of the camera. This is for every one of them.”
Long a favorite in this year’s contest for his brilliant futuristic visuals in Blade Runner 2049, things got a little less certain and a lot more interesting when Rachel Morrison was nominated for post-war drama Mudbound—from director Dee Rees—becoming the first woman in history to secure a nomination in the category.
In winning the Oscar tonight, Deakins also beat out Dunkirk‘s Hoyte Van Hoytema, The Shape of Water‘s Dan Laustsen, and Darkest Hour DP Bruno Delbonnel.
Check out his backstage comments below.
Receiving two other nominations for collaborations with Villeneuve—including Sicario (2015) and Prisoners (2o13)—the British cinematographer treasures his collaborative relationship with the French-Canadian filmmaker, and has also been nominated over the years for collaborations with Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His list of nominated works—featuring many films now considered classics—includes The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Fargo (1996), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), No Country for Old Men (2007), True Grit (201o), Skyfall (2012) and more.
Set 30 years after the original Blade Runner—a pillar of the science-fiction genre, based on a novel by Philip K. Dick—2049 follows blade runner K (Ryan Gosling), a futuristic police officer assigned to hunt down and kill simulated humans known as replicants. K’s discovery of a long-buried secret leads him to track down former blade runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford)—of Scott’s film—who’s been missing for 30 years.
While 2049‘s director was snubbed by the Academy this time around, following a Directing nomination last year for inventive sci-fi mystery Arrival, his art house blockbuster was recognized with four Oscar nominations, for Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects, winning in the latter category. Partnering on the production and worldwide release of Blade Runner 2049were Sony/Columbia Pictures and Alcon Entertainment.
Here are his comments backstage: