Prisoners is nominated for an Academy Award for Cinematography. The American Society of Cinematography defines cinematography as:
a creative and interpretive process that culminates in the authorship of an original work of art rather than the simple recording of a physical event. Cinematography is not a subcategory of photography. Rather, photography is but one craft that the cinematographer uses in addition to other physical, organizational, managerial, interpretive and image-manipulating techniques to effect one coherent process.
I prefer to think of it as how the film looks. How is the mood conveyed in the film other than through the script and the acting. With that “lens”, I can not say that I understand why this film was nominated. Don’t get me wrong. I think the movie was fine, but I do not know why it would have been elevated above other movies from 2013. Maybe it was because the movie seemed long. Part of the way through the movie, I stopped caring about whether or not the “villain” was apprehended. I will admit, though, that I the revelation of the “villain” was a surprise to me. Maybe there were clues that I did not catch because I lost interest.
The film has a well known cast, including Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, and Melissa Leo.
It was an afternoon’s entertainment.