Thursday Movie Picks: Favourite Cinematography

a weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves

Every film has a cinematography. But not every film has a great cinematography, one that isn't just pretty but that is capable of turning the words from the script into visuals, while building atmosphere, delivering emotions and making the audience feel as if they are experiencing the story first hand. This is the week's theme, or anyway these are the characteristics my favourite cinematographies have.

Moonlight (2016)

Shot by James Laxton, the cinematography is pretty much the only aspect of Barry Jenkins's film that stuck with me after viewing it for the first time. It is stunning, with vibrant and rich colours, and delivers what words could never deliver. When I rewatched the film — and ended up loving it — the cinematography even moved me to tears. 

The Revenant (2015) - Review

Shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant's is the first that comes to my mind when I think of cinematography. It is absolutely breathtaking as shooting in freezing conditions and only using natural light makes the film so much immersive and visceral, and makes you feel like you're the main character, facing all the adversities nature has to offer. 

Wind River (2017) - Review

Shot by Ben Richardson, Wind River's cinematography is as hard-hitting as the story it tells, it provides the film with the perfect atmosphere, and never really makes you forget about the harsh bureaucracy and cultural hostilities. 


  1. Hey this is the first time in a while when I've seen all three of your picks! Wish I could also say I loved them all but that's not so.

    We'll start with the good, I really liked Wind River much more than I was expecting to. The marvelous cinematography really added another strong element to an already compelling film.

    I can say the same thing about the visuals for your other two picks but misery cinema (Revenant) isn't my idea of entertainment and I was completely unmoved by Moonlight outside the look of the film. It was another sort of misery.

    I actually returned to previous picks this week which I try not to do since the theme was favorite cinematography and when I think of that these three are right at or near the top of my list.

    Legends of the Fall (1994)-Lavish star-studded (Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn etc.) familial drama set in Big Sky country with cinematographer John Toll’s breathtaking vistas as the various hardships of the star-crossed Ludlow clan unfurl.

    Far From the Madding Crowd (1967)-Set in the rural West Country of Victorian England future director Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now) in his original capacity as director of photography captures gorgeous shots that have a painterly feel of the area and almost equally beautiful performers (Julie Christie, Alan Bates and Terence Stamp).

    A River Runs Through It (1992)-Based on the memoir of Norman MacLean and once again starring Brad Pitt this small story of a quiet preacher (Tom Skerritt) and his two son-studious, serious Norman (Craig Sheffer) and feckless Paul (Pitt) in the years between WWI and the Great Depression that posits fly fishing as a metaphor for life captures the beauty of Montana thanks to DP Philippe Rousselot fantastic eye for detail.

    1. I felt the same about Moonlight the first time I watched it but cried so much the second time, so that could change. And I agree that The Revenant isn't an entertaining film but it really worked for me.

  2. We share a pick with Moonlight as that is a great film as I've seen all of your picks and love them all.

  3. I love all 3 films and I love the photos ypu have here which are captured in a bluish tone. The last 2 really showcased the cold. The Revenant really made me think and the last film is just so sad and so true how much indigenous people are not cared for especially the women. Moonlight is poetic to me and I need to see all 3 again.