I make a point of making sure I’ve seen all the Oscar nominees for Best Cinematography. That this year’s films were well-photographed goes without saying, but one film, The King’s Speech, stood in a category all its own. While the other DPs were shooting the best films possible according to accepted standards of motion picture photography, I felt as though cinematographer Danny Cohen was operating in a category all his own. A few photographic elements that impressed me:
- A willingness to embrace an understated style;
- Masterful use of top lighting;
- An incredibly nuanced sensitivity to exposure balance between subject and environment;
- No mindless obsession with fill light and back lights (as you often find in Hollywood);
That Danny Cohen didn’t win the Oscar makes me realize that perhaps I’ve been apprenticing on the wrong continent.