Oscar This: A striking vampire film deserves to be among the Best Cinematography nominees

This year’s Oscar nominations are announced on January 15. In anticipation of the conventional wisdom the Academy will likely uphold, we’re highlighting unlikely candidates—the dark horses we’d love to see compete on Oscar night.

An Iranian teenage vampire romance filmed in luscious black and white, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night remains one of the most visually evocative marvels of last year, a beautiful chiaroscuro affair that co-mingles seductiveness and terror. With all due respect to its other aesthetic achievements (including expert sound design and a sterling ’80s pop soundtrack), Ana Lily Amirpour’s maiden directorial effort is a film that thrives on her collaboration with cinematographer Lyle Vincent, which results in more stunning imagery than any other 2014 release. More importantly, however, its cinematography serves as a vital storytelling tool, with Amirpour and Vincent using their visual schema to wordlessly convey the shifting emotional …

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