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WAR HORSE Bypassed; HUGO, THE ARTIST In: American Cinematographers Nominations

Hugo, Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz
Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Hugo

Guillaume Schiffman, AFC (The Artist), Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Robert Richardson, ASC (Hugo), Hoyte van Hoytema, FSF, NSC (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (The Tree of Life) are the five nominees for the 2012 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Awards, now in their 26th year. The winner will be announced at the ASC Awards ceremony at the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom on February 12.

Glaringly absent from the shortlist is Janusz Kaminski's work on War Horse, the Steven Spielberg World War I drama that has been performing well enough at the domestic box office, but that has been – surprisingly – generally bypassed by the various guilds. Kaminski's absence from the ASC Awards' roster is particularly surprising because his work on War Horse has been widely praised, and he has already been nominated four times in the past. Three of those were for his work on Spielberg movies: Schindler's List (1993), Amistad (1997), and Saving Private Ryan (1998). His fourth nod was for Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007).

Now, back to the nominees: Guillaume Schiffman, who had previously collaborated with director Michel Hazanavicius and star Jean Dujardin in OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies and OSS 117: Lost in Rio, and Hoyte van Hoytema, who had previously collaborated with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's Tomas Alfredson in the critically acclaimed vampire movie Let the Right One In, are both first-timers. Jeff Cronenweth, received his first nod last year, for his work on David Fincher's The Social Network. Fincher, of course, is also the director of this year's entry The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.)

Robert Richardson's nomination for Martin Scorsese's period adventure fantasy Hugo is his 10th. Richardson was previously shortlisted for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009), Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd (2006), Scorsese's The Aviator (2004), Scott Hicks' Snow Falling on Cedars (1999), Robert Redford's The Horse Whisperer (1998), Oliver Stone's Heaven & Earth (1993), Rob Reiner's A Few Good Men (1992), and two more Oliver Stone movies, JFK (1991), and Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Although he has already won two Oscars (JFK, The Aviator), Richardson has never won an ASC Award. That makes him this year's front-runner.

Emmanuel Lubezki, this year's critical favorite for his work on Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, won the ASC Award in 2007 for Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men. Lubezki was also nominated for Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999).

Last year's ASC Award and Academy Award winner was Wally Pfister, ASC, BSC, for his work on Christopher Nolan's Inception.

Hugo pic: Jaap Buitendijk / GK Films

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