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When it comes to this year’s Best Cinematography race everyone is focused on the legendary Roger Deakins (“Blade Runner 2049”) and the first female nominee Rachel Morrison (“Mudbound”) but Bruno Delbonnel should not be ignored. Now a five-time Oscar nominee, Delbonnel’s work on Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour” is a beautifully lit and worthy entry in a body of work that includes “A Very Long Engagement,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
Delbonnel jumped on the phone before learning of his nomination last month, but took some time to talk about “Darkest Hour” and at confirmed his reunion with the Coen Bros. on the upcoming Netflix mini-series “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”
Gregory - Ellwood - Hi - Bruno
Gregory Ellwood: Hi, Bruno. How are you doing?
Bruno Delbonnel: I’m fine, and you?
Congratulations - Film
Not too bad. Congratulations on the film.
Oh, thank you very much.
Partner - Joe - Wright - Sort - Put
How did you come to partner with this on Joe Wright? You guys had never worked before. Who sort of put you two together?
In fact, Joe called me years earlier, when he was prepping “Pan.” Seamus McGarvey couldn’t do the movie, so he called me. But unfortunately, I was not available. I was doing “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” with Tim Burton. He said, “I’ll call you next time.” And for “Darkest Hour” Seamus was not available again. So, it was my luck. He offered me the script and asked me what I thought and I thought it was pretty good.
Themes - Perspective
What themes were you guys going for from a cinematic perspective?
There was a constant. There was in fact two things which were really interesting. The first one was Churchill’s personality. He’s just like a guy who has a lot of doubt, and on the other hand he’s a bully. So, it was the first thing. How can we show something like that? Showing with...
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Drove my Ford to the fjord, but the fjord was dry. . .