HE is humming with excitement over the just-announced nominees for the 35th American Society of Cinematographers Awards: Erik Messerschmidt for Mank, Phedon Papamichael for The Trial of the Chicago 7, Joshua James Richards for Nomadland, Newton Thomas Sigel for Cherry and Dariusz Wolski for News of the World. Congrats to these five, and may the nominee with the most political and cultural wind in his sails prevail.

If we’re talking pure quality for its own sake, I would hand the top prize to either Messerscmidt, Papamichael or Richards. If we’re talking about which nominee will be “allowed” to win from a political-cultural perspective…who knows?