Voilà, Incoherent Oscar conversation from your host returns for the New Year.
Honestly, there were no insidious undertones behind me talking so little about Oscar related things this season. What with me being the worst blogger ever (or so says Anna) and this season happening so fast (Oscar nominations next week? Say WHAT?) and okay, fine, just the slightest bit of antipathy towards general Oscar wrangling Oscar prognosticating took a backseat to….everything else.
BUT, as suspect as my actual predictions always turn out I do like writing about the Oscar season (reason: to be determined) and since I entered Shane’s Oscar contest, for the hell of it, I decided I’d officially make some notes before the nominees are announced. If you’ve read my Incoherent Oscar Predictions of 2012 or my Oscar Talk of 2011 you’ll already know I will talk about any and everything when discussing potential nominees.
I’m already feeling potential wave of ennui regarding the main categories, and like I often do, the “less prestigious” categories almost always gain my attention. The newly renamed production design category is one of my favourite Oscar categories (looking forward to talking about that soonish) and like the corresponding hair and makeup and costume categories is all about dressing up their respective films. But, dressing up is – at the heart – about the clothes. It might sound reductive considering how often award voters tend to regard pretty for pretty’s sake and not utilitarian. But, “dressing up” is not always about looking pretty….but you couldn’t tell that looking at the top contenders.
Question, if the category is costume design shouldn't animated films be rewarded for the designs of the costumes in them?
Even as I’m always willing to defend good individual artistic work in less than stellar films, I must confess I get more than a little anxious that Snow White & the Huntsman could appear as a multiple Oscar nominee – and not just because I loathed the film.
Even the somewhat serviceable artistic work was hardly worthy of year end plaudits and even as I’m a fan of Colleen Atwood, I’m displeased to think that she may be headed to a 10th nomination with the film. But who to prevent her from a citation?
As per normal there is an embarrassment of riches to consider in the costume design category. What I tend to appreciate about the designers (and some other technical branches) is that the remember films which aren’t getting attention in larger categories which is why under the radar films like W.E., Coco Before Chanel, The Affair of the Necklace and 102 Dalmatians have managed to be nominated here. But, in a year when so many of the big contenders have costume friendly work – will any smaller or forgotten film be remembered? It’s rather simple to make a ballot of films that are likely to earn multiple nominations from the Academy. For example, consider:
BATCH ONE: Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Les Misérables
BATCH TWO: Anna Karenina, Cloud Atlas, The Hobbit, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom
And, then, I still haven’t considered the blockbusters, biopics and fantasy epics which always end up posing a threat in some form. Consider,
BATCH THREE: Dark Shadows, Hitchcock, The Hunger Games, Mirror, Mirror, Snow White & the Huntsman
So, ta-da, three different potential line-ups for this category and we’ve still not even considered if the designers really get invested in films like,
BATCH FOUR: Bel Ami, Lawless, On the Road, A Royal Affair, Wuthering Heights.
What to do, what to do? 2009 and 2005 stand out as the only years in the last 13 years where a corresponding best picture nominee wasn’t nominated here. This is, truly, an apropos of nothing because as I’ve mentioned designers like what they like regardless of "important" or "big" movies. But, when major best picture contenders have such lavish costumes there’s no reason to expect them not to make an appearance, right?
Jacqueline Durran is my favourite un-Oscared designer and her work on Anna Karenina has been earning acclaim backwards and forwards. From there we turn to….The Hobbit. No reason to not include, it with its gorgeous costumes, right? But, then, even in the wake of Lord of the Rings love The Two Towers went without a citation in 2002 and The Hobbit hasn’t been as lucky critically. Add that to the maybe pile, along with the time travelling shenanigans of Cloud Atlas which could make sense, but then again could not…
Musings on which costume contenders seem like sure things...
....and my predictions for the category below the jump...
So, batch three…. On, one hand what better way to reward Eiko Ishioka than with a posthumus nomination for her work on Mirror Mirror? And as obvious as Atwood may seem as a contender with Snow White and the Huntsman she’s also facing competition from herself with her work in Dark Shadows. So, I’ll say Eiko slips in and Atwood remains in the maybe pile for Dark Shadows, and Weiss for her Hitchcock work.
Then, on to batch four. I want to say, surely the costume designers will look for their own and remember the stunning work from Margot Wilson, right? But, then, who is paying Lawless any attention in this season. The sumptuousness of A Royal Affair makes more sense in that regard. So, Lawless goes in the maybe pile and A Royal Affair moves on.
Right now, my ballot for costume design goes would be a Russian tale, a reinvented Snow White, a musical and a foreign royal drama. That sounds workable.
In the maybe pile we’ve got Cloud Atlas, Dark Shadows, Hitchcock, The Hobbit, Lawless, Lincoln, Snow White and the Huntsman
Even that looks like a likely ballot….see how up in the air things can get? Ultimately, I think voters could very well be rather taken with the plethora of costume work on display in Cloud Atlas even though I know it might seem foolish ignoring Best Picture certainty Lincoln…and maybe that does reek of too many maybes, so I’ll swap the foreign for the American at last bet…and so in dressing them – here’s who I predict for Costume Design:
ALTERNATES (by probability): A Royal Affair; The Hobbit; Dark Shadows; Hitchock
Will the voters spend as much time ruminating on their ballots as I do ruminating on their ruminations? I say yes. Will their ballots look like what I predict? Questionable.
What do you think is heading towards costume nominations?