The finalists in the feature film category of the 23rd Annual American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Outstanding Achievement Awards competition are…not terribly exciting! Five timid choices reflecting, yes, quality work, fine, but also cautious consensus values. In alphabetical order:The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Claudio Miranda); The Dark Knight (Wally Pfister, ASC); The Reader (Chris Menges, BSC and Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC); Revolutionary Road (Deakins); and Slumdog Millionaire (Anthony Dod Mantle , BSC).

The winner — Mantle, I’m guessing — will be named at an ASC soiree at L.A.’s Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on 2.15.09. My personal favorites are Deakins’ work on Revolutionary Road and Pfister’s on The Dark Knight.