Were the Voters Blindfolded?

Somebody explain to me how you can watch Pan’s Labyrinth and Children of Men and think that Pan’s Labyrinth is the better work of cinematography?

Pan’s Labyrinth was filmed with skill and imagination.

Children of Men was one of those films that sets the standard even higher. They did things with the camera in that film that defy belief.

Time will be a better judge than the Academy in all of these categories, but we don’t have to wait for an envelope on this one.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • http://www.morriswebsite.com warpnacelle

    What a huge disappointment! If I may borrow the wise words: “full of sound and fury and signifying nothing!”

    Where did the fun go? Where did the sword fights go?

    Alas, it lost its swashbuckle!

  • http://nebblog.blogspot.com/ nebbo

    Well, we’re going to see it in a few hours. I’m taking my vitamins and hydrating pre-emtively…although the hydrating may be a bad idea.

  • http://www.danbuck.blogspot.com/ danbuck

    “Thus, the movie ends up like Davy Jones himself—many-tentacled, full of bluster, and devoid of a beating heart.”

    Classic Overstreet!

  • http://www.besidethequeue.wordpress.com besidethequeue

    nice review. But man, bummer! I will still go see my midnight showing, but how i wish it could have been GREAT!

  • Brian

    Watching them on the big screen, I know I thought Childredn of Men was better-shot. Watching them on screener tapes, like a lot of the Academy voters probably did, might produce a different reaction.

  • Campbell Andrews

    Truly groundbreaking work isn’t usually rewarded till much later, if ever. In any contest, people tend to vote for the safe and obvious, not the daring and demanding. It’s in good company.

  • wngl

    I’m with you, Jeff. More like “Spam’s Labyrinth” y’ask me.

  • Campbell Andrews

    Truly groundbreaking work isn’t usually rewarded till much later. It’s in good company.

  • D. Ian Dalrymple

    I’m with you, Jeffrey. Much as I loved PL, I thought CofM should have had it for cinematography.

  • Nate

    I think prefer the molten-lava color scheme in Pan’s Labyrinth to the ashen palette in Children of Men, but I was rooting for Lubezki all the way. Why? For political reasons, of course!

    Seriously though, I thought those showboating long takes were enough to win Lubezki the Oscar. Apparently, everybody else thought so, too!

  • Julio

    Camera movement and blocking is often a collaboration between the director and DP with the director usually getting final say (and the lion’s share of the credit, fair or not).

    Cinematography awards, at least as I understand them, tend to have more to do with the film’s lighting, film stock choices, etc.. that combine to give the film it’s overall look.

    So from that perspective, that evens the playing field between Pan’s Labryinth and Children of Men a bit more. I still would have voted for Children of Men, personally, but there you have it…kinda.