There were many formidable feats of cinematography in 2022, and it’s going to be quite a tight race for just five of them to be recognized by Oscar voters. The American Society of Cinematographers lineup very rarely matches 5/5 with this list, and that’s sure to be true this year given the startling omissions from that organization, like The Fabelmans, Babylon, All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, and Everything Everywhere All at Once. From the ASC list, last year’s Oscar winner Greig Fraser is far from a lock for a genre film, The Batman, while another recent winner, Roger Deakins, feels safer for a film that might not get nominated in any other category, Empire of Light. Also likely to translate from ASC is Top Gun: Maverick, and Elvis is probably a decent bet too, which would make Mandy Walker only the third woman ever nominated for this prize. Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, the fifth ASC selection, may be more of a stretch, especially since it’s not guaranteed to place in the Best International Film lineup. BAFTA longlisted films like The Banshees of Inisherin, Aftersun, Living, and Triangle of Sadness could also show up here, and there’s always the possibility that other foreign entries like Decision to Leave, EO, RRR, or Athena could crash the party too.
Predictions: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Batman, Empire of Light, The Fabelmans, Top Gun: Maverick