Once when I sat and studied a Cukor film, a fellow scholar came by and I mentioned that I thought that Cukor was perhaps the master of framing. He replied that Renoir was his favourite. The other day I was reminded of this because Joe McElhaney, an uncommonly sharp scholar, said that he thought that Cukor was among the best when it came to framing, and likened him to Renoir. It seems that we have come full circle... Of course, for Jean Renoir acting, actors and the theatre were also of great importance, and the connections and similarities between Cukor/Ekman/Renoir are definitely a subject for further research, or for future essays.
It is important to remember that framing is something dynamic, it is not a question of one perfect shot, or formal beauty, but the balancing of space and emotions, set design and actor, and of creating nuance and meaning out of the combination of these aspects of the shot. Even a slight camera movement might completely alter the emotional tone of a scene, so still images do not necessarily do justice to the framing in a particular film.
In Cukor's Little Women (1933) there is a scene when a girl sneaks away at a party and talks to a boy among some flowers. It is nothing special about the scene in itself, but the framing of it, the distance of the camera from the actors, the leafs of the flowers getting between us and the actors, makes it something extra. Here are images from some of his best films.
A Star Is Born (1954)
Adam's Rib (1949)
Born Yesterday (1950)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
It Should Happen to You (1954)
Les Girls (1957)
In his book about Ingmar Bergman, Robin Wood compares Bergman to Cukor and says that "Bergman's handling of actresses in his more relaxed films is strikingly like Cukor's."
I should add that on both A Star Is Born and Les Girls, and a few more films in colour, Cukor worked closely with George Hoyningen-Huene, a fashion photographer who became Cukor's visual, and colour, consultant.