×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Revenant’ Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki Sets Record with Oscar Win

With three Academy Awards in a row, the celebrated lenser enters a league of his own.

With his best cinematography win for Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “The Revenant” Sunday night, lenser Emmanuel Lubezki entered the record books as the first director of photography to claim the prize three years in a row. He also won for “Gravity” and “Birdman.”

Lubezki was already in elite company with the “Birdman” win, joining an exclusive club whose ranks had not been breached in nearly two decades. Leon Shamroy (“Wilson,” “Leave Her to Heaven”), Winton Hoch (“Joan of Arc,” “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon”) and John Toll (“Legends of the Fall,” “Braveheart”) were the only other cinematographers to have won competitive Oscars in consecutive years, though Howard Greene received special commendations for color photography in its early days, for 1936’s “The Garden of Allah” and 1937’s “A Star is Born.” Both films were shot via the three-strip Technicolor process, with “Allah” being just the third film to use the technique and the first to do it on location.

But now, Lubezki claims the three-peat for himself. He was nominated five times previously, for “A Little Princess” (1995), “Sleepy Hollow” (1999), “The New World” (2005), “Children of Men” (2006) and “The Tree of Life” (2011).

“This is incredible,” Lubezki said in accepting the Oscar Sunday. “I want to share it with the cast and crew, especially my compadre, Mr. Inarritu.” He also thanked 20th Century Fox and New Regency for the “freedom” afforded to the epic production.

Shamroy and Joseph Ruttenberg hold the overall record for Academy Award wins among DPs, with four.

Lubezki’s next film is Terrence Malick’s Christian Bale starrer “Knight of Cups,” releasing on March 4. Malick’s “Weightless,” also with Bale, will follow, with Paul Atkins’ “The Devil’s Teeth” on the horizon.

More Artisans

  • Luciano Pavarotti

    Ron Howard Turned to Editor Paul Crowder to Make His 'Pavarotti' Documentary Sing

    Ron Howard is fast becoming a noted music documentarian: His 2016 film, “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — the Touring Years,” released by Abramorama in theaters and Hulu on television, was a Grammy winner. His follow-up is “Pavarotti,” a doc about the man who became one of the most successful and beloved opera singers in [...]

  • Lesley Barber Film Composer

    How 'Late Night' Composer Lesley Barber Channeled Paul Shaffer for Talk-Show Theme

    When director Nisha Ganatra started planning “Late Night,” the new Emma Thompson-Mindy Kaling film about a failing late-night network talk show, she knew she’d need a house band and a theme for the program. Her first call was to composer Lesley Barber (“Manchester by the Sea”), with whom she had worked a few years ago on [...]

  • Ma Movie Set Design

    How 'Ma' Filmmakers Turned a Garage Into Octavia Spencer's Party Basement

    In the new psychological thriller “Ma,” a middle-aged woman played by Oscar winner Octavia Spencer befriends a group of teenagers and invites them to use the basement of her house as a place to party. Of course they accept, and much of the film happens there, though the subterranean space we see in the film [...]

  • Jim Frohna Big Little Lies Cinematographer

    'Big Little Lies' Gets a More Naturalistic Look for Season 2

    Jim Frohna has a knack for framing female-centric stories that are lyrical and dramatic. As Jill Soloway’s shooter since her debut feature, “Afternoon Delight,” as well as several seasons of “Transparent,” Frohna has become a preferred DP for capturing the female gaze. So when conflicts in scheduling kept director Jean-Marc Vallée and DP Yves Bélanger from [...]

  • Fosse Verdon BTS

    How 'Fosse/Verdon' Recreated 'Big Spender'

    The making of one of filmmaker Bob Fosse’s early triumphs, the sizzling “Big Spender” sequence from the 1969 musical “Sweet Charity,” kicks off the opening moments of the first episode of FX’s bio-limited series “Fosse/Verdon” in the same sultry style for which the legendary director-choreographer was known. It juxtaposes the film’s dancers in a sinuous, [...]

  • Andy Vajna Remembered

    Hungary's Film Business Copes With Life After Late Producer Andy Vajna

    When the producers of Lionsgate’s “The Spy Who Dumped Me” were struggling to get a permit for a key location on the streets of Budapest several years ago, they knew exactly where to turn. “I called Andy,” says Adam Goodman, whose Mid Atlantic Films serviced the shoot. “I said, ‘Look, we need your help.’” Goodman [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content