Acclaimed international director of photography Eduardo Serra received his first Oscar nomination for his stunning and beautiful widescreen work on "The Wings of the Dove" (1997). The camerawork in the film captured the beauty and exotic look of Venice and the bustling streets and well-dressed interiors of Edwardian London. From the opening shots of the British subways through several nocturnal set pieces in Italy (including a gondola ride lit only by torches), the film was filled with beautiful and subtle images.
The Portuguese-born Serra received his training in France and began his career shooting Ariane Mnouchkine's historical drama "1789" (1974). He also provided the strong visual look of Jean-Jacques Annaud's Oscar-winning "Black and White in Color" (1976) and went on to work with several French directors, notably Patrice Leconte and Michel Blanc. Serra created breathtaking images of the Arctic landscape in "Map of the Human Heart" and utilized widescreen images in "Yvonne's Perfume/The Scent of Yvonne/Le Parfum d'Yvonne" (both 1993). The period piece, "Conjugal Duty/L'Amour conjugal" (1995), allowed the cinematographer to shoot numerous interiors by candlelight, invoking comparisons with John Alcott's painterly work on 1975's "Barry Lyndon". Serra brought an artist's eye to his work on "Jude" (1996), another period drama. Scenes involving the title character were shot in dull colors (reflecting his innate sadness) while those involving his female cousin Sue were filmed in bright sunlight. As their lives intertwined, the palette mixed to a muted beauty. With "What Dreams May Comes" (1998), Serra faced the challenge of creating the fantastic worlds of heaven and hell and more than rose to the challenge. His painterly creations of otherworldly realms ranked among his finest work to date.