Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Oscar Talk: Makeup/Costumes/Art Direction

I don’t have any qualifications – and I’m really nothing near a clothes horse, but still I’m usually quite interested in the costume category of the AMPAS. Like all the technical categories, really, they can be insular at times and ignoring good work in films that aren’t on the Academy’s radar generally – but sometimes they’ll reward low-key (like nominations for The Hour or wins for The Aviator or better yet they’ll reward films that are being ignored elsewhere a la Marie Antoinette or The Duchess). There doesn’t seem to be an obvious frontrunner, but I’m casting my bets on Colleen Atwood’s work in Alice in Wonderland. Atwood sits alongside Sandy Powell as the two most well known designers and last year Powell won her third, so I’m assuming AMPAS are going to even it up once again and give Atwood her turn for her costumes in Burton’s fantasy. If anyone can upset her it’s Beavan – another multi-nominated designer who’s only one once. Since she’s doing costumes for The King’s Speech – a big contender, perhaps she’ll get the edge. But then, this categories doesn’t usually seem as interested in general success of the films. The Tempest has sort of crashed and burned, but I don’t think they’ll ignore Powell’s work for it. And I’ll throw in True Grit, because it’s a period and I’ll predict Get Low because...maybe, they’ll remember Julie Weiss’ low-key work.

Predictions: Alice in WonderlandGet Low / The King Speech / The Tempest / True Grit alternates: Black Swan / Agora
The shortlist for the makeup category includes the following – Alice in Wonderland, Barney’s Version, The Fighter, Jonah Hex, True Grit, The Way Back and The Wolfman. The Fighter might seem like a good prediction because it seems to be on the rise, but then I remember that The Reader was snubbed here for low-key (albeit fine) work on the majority of players and specific work on a single character so I don’t expect it to show. I’ll go with Alice in Wonderland and The Wolfman as potential locks and that third spot could be a tossup between True Grit or perhaps The Way Back. Really, the omission of Shutter Island is unsurprising, but it’s disappointing nonetheless.

Predictions: Alice in Wonderland / True Grit / The Wolfman alternate: The Way Back
Art Direction
Of the artistic categories this is the one that more often than not seems geared towards the high profile flicks. Inception and The King’s Speech are two that seem like obvious locks and they’ll probably be battling for the win – traditional versus unconventional. Shutter Island seems like an obvious contender here and Ferretti has been recognised for teaming up with Scorsese before. I sort of don’t want to predict Alice in Wonderland – because, it’s eye-catching but not all that useful, whereas True Grit seems like something that should make it in, even if it’s on merit only. Realistically Robin Hood and Never Let Me Go should be contenders, but they’re both unpopular at the moment and Get Low could be a contender....but.... So could The Social Network, but are they that in love with it recognise the (admittedly good) set design? This is a tough one.
Predictions: Alice in wonderland / Inception / The King’s Speech / Shutter Island / True Grit alternates: The Social Network, Never Let Me Go
You know what films SHOULD be factoring into these races, though? Agora – especially for the costumes and the sets, Scott Pilgrim vs the World for set design and for the costumes (even if contemporary films are the costumers blindside) – or even Never Let Me Go for costumes. Ah, who knows what’ll happen. Any favourites on your side?


anahita said...

I think there's a good chance Black Swan will get a nod for costumes - a lot of its costumes were designed by an actual fashion designer which gives it an interesting "edge", and probably means they'll be absolutely gorgeous to boot (god I love rodarte). alice in wonderland also has a good shot I reckon. x

Robert said...

Ah, wouldn't a Scott Pilgrim set design or costume nod be great? Alas. I'd really like to see Black Swan get in for costumes though. Or perhaps, even art direction - Nina's apartment was so perfectly designed.

5plitreel said...

I'm hoping that either Scott Pilgrim or Kickass gets costume nods : -))

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

robert, anahita yeah, black swan is a legtimate spoiler, especially with the recent love its garnering.

rtm said...

Seems like the only awards Alice is worth getting is in either makeup/costume design category. As for art direction, I think Inception & King's Speech are definitely noteworthy. Tron is amazing visually but that might be more in the technical category.