You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ben Smithard on Jeff Cronenweth

Eye on the Oscars: The Cinematographer

His collaborations with David Fincher are pure genius. When I watch “The Social Network” or “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” I just wish I had shot them, pure and simple.

Jeff’s new film pushes his work on “Social Network” into a different class. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” uses its North European locations to great effect; the subtle use of color always constitutes a voyage of discovery. When watching this film I almost feel I am discovering colors I’ve never seen before onscreen. They maybe subtle variations of yellow, green, brown, mustard, tan, rouge, ochre — but they always seem original.

Cronenweth and Fincher are almost redesigning our urban environment and how we look at ourselves.

The movement of the camera resembles the first images I saw in the cinema. I get a tingle when I’m being tracked down a corridor with Cronenweth’s camera.

Having spent the last 20 years trying to make the North European landscape visually interesting, I understand the problems of the light and texture as well as anyone. In “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Jeff Cronenweth has turned up and said, “What took you so long? Here’s how you do it!”

I would hazard a guess you could put Cronenweth and Fincher in a cardboard box with hardly any light, and they would still come up with the film of the year.

The only problem is that one film a year is not enough!

To comment on Jeff Cronenweth’s work is to comment on a master, in my opinion.

Ben Smithard, the d.p. behind “My Week With Marilyn,” is currently in production on the Shakespearean TV movies, “Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2,” starring Jeremy Irons.


More Film

  • Summer Box Office: 'Avengers: Endgame,' 'Lion

    Summer Box Office: Five Weekends to Watch

    Popcorn season is upon us, and it’ll be up to comic-book heroes, a wise-cracking genie, and a lion who would be king to ensure movie theaters are still the hottest place to spend the summer. Last summer, blockbusters like “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” Ocean’s 8,” and “The Meg” drove moviegoers to their [...]

  • Critics Week

    Cannes Critics’ Week Unveils Its Lineup

    Lorcan Finnegan’s science-fiction thriller “Vivarium” with Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots, Jérémy Clapin’s fantasy-filled animated feature “I Lost My Body,” and Hlynur Pálmason’s Icelandic drama “A White, White Day” are among the 11 films set to compete at Critics’ Week, the section dedicated to first and second films that runs parallel with the Cannes Film [...]

  • China Box Office: 'Wonder Park' Fails

    China Box Office: 'Wonder Park' Fails to Impress While 'P Storm' Rages On

    Even on one of the quietest weekends of the year, new U.S. animated release “Wonder Park” failed to inspire Chinese audiences as much as Hong Kong and Indian movies already in their third weekend in theaters. Starring the voice talents of Matthew Broderick, Jennifer Garner, Mila Kunis, and Ken Jeong, among many others, the film [...]

  • David Picker dead

    David Picker, Studio Chief Who Acquired James Bond Novels for UA, Dies at 87

    David Picker, who headed United Artists, Paramount and Columbia’s motion picture divisions and was known for forging relationships with groundbreaking filmmakers and material, died Saturday in New York. He was 87 and had been suffering from colon cancer. MGM tweeted, “We are saddened to hear that a member of the United Artists family has passed [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content