Saturday, 19 February 2011

Oscar Talk: Visual (Artistic) Techs

It's a bit strange, but I much more excited to see what these three categories will be than the actual main categories. Every category's a main category in my eyes, well except for original song (because they snubbed Burlesque and Chris Martin, unforgivable). Oh well, on to predictions.
         
MAKEUP
This is the sole category where the nominees have not been singled out in any other category, which makes it the sole category where a Best Picture nominee is not included in the list of nominees. Really, I have no idea what they’ll go for here, I really could see it going to any of the nominees – the fact that I’ve yet to see any of the nominees here doesn’t help my situation.
NOMINEES: Barney’s Version / The Way Back / The Wolfman Prediction: The Wolfman Alternate: Barney’s Version

It’s not meant as an insult to the AMPAS voters, but the work on The Wolfman is so intrusive I’d wager that it’d be difficult to ignore. Barney’s Version seems like a worthy alternate because helping characters age is always a valuable way of getting recognition here. I actually want The Way Back to win, just for the talent involved – but it seems to be the most unobtrusive of the nominees. Though, I don’t know if that could be to its credit.
             
COSTUME DESIGN
Once again, the queens of Costuming (Atwood and Powell) are nominated opposite each other. Last year I was all for an Atwood win (), though I didn’t mind Powell’s triumph for The Young Victoria (she gives such great speeches). This means that Powell now has 3 statues and Atwood has 2, and since I already think Atwood is the best of the lot I figure that she’ll get the third statue now. She’s actually never been rewarded for the work she’s done on Burton films yet, so maybe now’s the time.

NOMINEES: Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood) / I Am Love (Antonella Cannarozzi) / The King’s Speech (Jenny Beavan) / The Tempest (Sandy Powell) / True Grit (Mary Zophres) Prediction: Alice in Wonderland Alternate: The King’s Speech

I keep thinking, though, that Beavan’s work in The King’s Speech could end up becoming a spoiler. True, the most conspicuous designs often end up triumphing here until that time when they don’t (see: The English Patient over Portrait of a Lady or The Aviator over The Phantom of the Opera). Beavan’s work in The King’s Speech is more modest, but there’s always the possibility that love for The King’s Speech could spill over here – or backlash for Alice in Wonderland...
            
ART DIRECTION
I find the citation for Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows a bit ridiculous, especially when you consider all the great examples of production design ignored (Agora, Shutter Island, Never Let Me Go, Nowhere Boy or even films they embraced like Black Swan) – other than that, though, it’s a generally good batch of nominees. Though, the inclusion of Alice in Wonderland is a bit predictable – and not in a good way.

NOMINEES: Alice in Wonderland / Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows I / Inception / The King’s Speech / True Grit Prediction: The King’s Speech Alternate: Inception
       
I’d expect The King’s Speech to be assured a win here – the work done is especially good here, and it’s probably facing the greatest competition from Inception. The thing with Inception, though, is that the overlapping between production design and visual effects could seem so stark that The King’s Speech could get the edge.
       
So, is Atwood going to get that third win from the Academy? Inception or The King’s Speech for production design? Which otherwise ignored film gets the makeup statue?

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