LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Mandy Walker attends the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' 2023 Scientific and Technical Awards presentation at Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on February 24, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Elvis’ Cinema-tography Could Have Broken An Annoying Oscars Trend
In the 95-year history of the Academy Awards, only three women have ever been nominated for Best Cinematography, and no woman has ever won. An opportunity to buck this trend was missed by not awarding cinematographer Mandy Walker for her admirable feat of bringing Elvis Presley to life in “Elvis,” as she covered many locations, moods, and color schemes.
Out of 475 total nominees for Best Cinematography, only three have been women — that's less than 1% of Best Cinematography nominees. The statistic is made even worse by the fact that some years had two separate categories for Best Cinematography, “Color” and “Black and White,” and in multiple years, there were as many as fifteen nominated films.
The first woman to be nominated for Best Cinematography was in 2017 when Rachel Morrison was nominated for "Mudbound," followed a few years later by the second: Ari Wegner for her work on “The Power of the Dog.” They lost out to Roger Deakins (“Blade Runner 2049”) and Greig Fraser (“Dune”), respectively.
In “Elvis,” Walker used a lot of discipline and skill to take Baz Luhrmann's chaotic storytelling style and ground it in a consistent sense of reality with shots that capture the eye in the briefest of flickers. Although “Elvis” wasn’t officially recognized by the Academy Awards, hopefully it's only a matter of time before the Oscars finally awards a woman for Best Cinematography.