‘Samurai’ lenser Toll draws career kudos

Second pic participant to nab NBR honors

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures will present its 2003 Career Achievement Award for Cinematography to John Toll, whose latest work is Warner’s “The Last Samurai,” opening Friday.

Award marks the second NBR honor this year to a craft collaborator on the Tom Cruise starrer; the org last week announced that its composer nod would go to Hans Zimmer, whose score for “Samurai” represents his 100th screen credit.

The film reunites Toll with director Edward Zwick after 1995’s “Legends of the Fall,” which earned the cinematographer the first of two consecutive Academy Awards, followed by Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart.”

Toll also received an Oscar nom for Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line,” which earned him his second American Society of Cinematographers award for best feature achievement, after “Braveheart.”

Lenser’s other key credits include “Almost Famous” and “Vanilla Sky” for director Cameron Crowe and “The Rainmaker” and “Jack” for Francis Ford Coppola.

“We are thrilled to be honoring the outstanding work of John Toll,” commented NBR president Annie Schulhof. “Mr. Toll’s ability to set the film’s tone and mood by ‘painting with light’ is unsurpassed. His sense of composition leaves the viewer with indelible images.”

The complete list of 2003 NBR winners will be released Wednesday . Awards will be presented Jan. 13 at the annual gala at New York’s Tavern on the Green.

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