The Fifties for 2010: Best Cinematography
Robbie Ryan for Fish Tank, for the intimacy and the claustrophobia in his 4:3 framings, achieving crackling color, light, and composition within social-realist bounds;
Harris Savides for Greenberg, for making Angeleno sunrays bland, merciless, and offhandedly enchanting in different scenes, and signaling unspoken affects so eloquently;
Yorick Le Saux for I Am Love, for unbombastic floridity, tweaking old styles with modern agitations and candor, and proving as chameleonic as Tilda in their two collabos;
Martin Gschlacht for Lourdes, whose crisp lenses and chipper colors evoke banal artifice, yet he coaxes uncanny depths from slow movements, patience, and eerie closeups; and
Stéphane Fontaine for A Prophet, who traverses a wild array of palettes and visual environments, grotty to sun-drenched, but coheres them through sustained visual energy.
Extremely honorable mentions to five runners-up who offered such strong work I'd consider them an above-average field in and of themselves: Michael McDonough's cold, steely, location-specific lensing of Winter's Bone, with some exciting departures from realism; Pawel Edelman's deliciously sinister handling of depth, framing, and geometrically blocked spaces in The Ghost Writer; Thimios Bakatatakis's tense, unsettling synthesis of Buñuel, Arbus, and Haneke in Dogtooth; Bernhard Keller's subtlety with flesh tones and bodily movements under the Italian sun in Everyone Else; and Adam Arkapaw's hot white silhouettes and precise framing in Animal Kingdom, which also handles close-ups very well as long as they're not gratuitously heavy on the zoom.
Further honorable mentions to Hong Pyung-kyo's vivid lingering on faces and colors, such that Mother seems controlled but ever-ready to go berserk; Barry Ackroyd's dependably active camerawork and deft nighttime shooting in Green Zone; and Eric Gautier's atypically pop-brite but characteristically shrewd lighting of Wild Grass, a fruitful matching of his sensibilities with Resnais's.