Friday, 15 February 2013

Encore Awards (2012 in Review): Visual Awards, Part 1

More on 2012 year-end citations.

Would you believe that my initial “short-list” for costume design was initially 24 films long? I’ve been generally impressed with the artistic and technical contributions of the films this year (even if two of them are cited in all three categories here). And, I'm so liable to fall head over heels for gorgeous work here.

On with the citations.

(Click on images for review, where available.)


Anna Karenina
Hair and makeup with the express intent of beautifying things tend to often go unnoticed, but even ignoring the excellent use of hair and wigs (and beards), the makeup work endorses the film’s appreciation for the period without being necessarily steadfast to it. Ivana has taken some flack for the work on Vronsky but it's so delightfully foppish in the way that this Vronsky departs from the typical characterisation of him. Also, consistent good work on the society-ladies throughout. Contemporary inspired but not anachronistically so.

 Ivana Primorac

Cloud Atlas

The makeup work goes above and beyond in trying to match the film’s humongous ambition and it matches it. Even when it’s off it’s still so very right and the scope and effectiveness of it works so well in supporting that “we are all connected” theme of the film. It's the larger parts of its work that are most loudly trumpeted but I love the smaller effects like the incredible or aging D'Arcy, Halle's seventies hair and making Sturgess sicker and sicker.

Heike Merker

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The film boasts the typically good work on the familiar faces that show up but it is not just regurgitation. There’s the added goodness of making them look even more stunning (CATE!) in their relative youth and then newer characters who our relationships with depend on making an impression from that first glimpse of their face. Radagast is such a delightful combination of great work on hair and makeup, he alone justifies the nomination for me.

Peter King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater

Holy Motors

Everything significant about its makeup work has probably been written – it is about makeup for so much of its narrative and the work is stunning, beguiling, chilling and so much fun to watch. What makes it such a treasure is that even with our knowledge that this single man is embodying all these people the makeup (with the performance) lures us into considering him as someone else. And, there’s good work being done on people that aren’t Oscar, too. The work on Mendes, for example, is not as striking, but still fine.

Bernard Floch

Les Misérables
The entire “Lovely Ladies” sequence (somewhere between grotesque and truly horrific) is essentially a makeup real – the work on Frances Ruffelle is on-point. And, that's just the beginning. Because, we’ve got later treasures like Madame Thénardier good makeup work before and after the time-jump and the work on Valjean who benefits from some excellent old-age makeup in that finale. What makes the team's work so effective is that it benefits from using makeup to beautify and destroy. Even if I will quibble about the inconsistency on teeth-work.

 Julie Dartnell, Lisa Westcott

FINALISTS: I really wish I had space in the top 5 for the fine work in The Impossible which is so chilling and effective without being over-the-top in its bloody roots; Lincoln has a lot of beards to deal with it and manages them all with aplomb.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Django Unchained; The Hunger Games; Mirror, Mirror; The Paperboy


Anna Karenina 
Durran’s work is impressive for so many reasons – the sheer range of the costuming is already laudable and she’s still the costume designer who knows how to dress Keira Knightley best. She’s having fun not only with colour but fabrics and pushes the film’s not-quite-truly-period / not-quite-contemporary conceits further. /

Jacqueline Durran

Cloud Atlas
Having to do so much period hopping it succeeds with great aplomb. I treasure it even more for weirdly having some of its most effective pieces be the non-period ones. The best work is probably in the post-apocalypse world where the question of what “future” clothing looks like is so shrewdly envisioned.

Pierre-Yves Gayraud, Kym Barrett

Django Unchained
Probably my favourite batch of costumes she has created of hers yet (including the peerless work on Dreamgirls). Like Durran above she’s sticking to her period in the main ways but is having so much fun performing gags in “modernising” her costumes in the most fun ways. Also, stellar menswear.

Sharen Davis

from my review: AMPAS’ is usually good enough to remember good work done in less fêted films, and I hope that they this. Wilson takes as much care with the men as with the women and there are two particular outfits (one on Chastain, one on LeBoeuf) that deserve the moniker of “iconic”.

Margot Wilson

Mirror, Mirror
Pure loopy, fun, weirdness which is exactly what something like Mirror, Mirror needs. She gets the way that at its best this film thrives on being fanciful to the point of silliness and her work is grandiose but always with a touch of whimsy.

Eiko Ishioka

FINALISTS: Damsels in Distress for the best contemporary costuming of the year, fun, light and joyful like the film; The Deep Blue Sea for some nice subtle changes between pre and post Freddie Hester; The Hobbit for typically immaculate work with subtle nuance; The Hunger Games for knowing just how well to use its clothes horse, Effie; Les Misérables for finding ways to be fun amidst the sadness and for impressive use of colour; Moonrise Kingdom for many character specific pieces, but principally for Social Services’ cape

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Lincoln; The Paperboy; A Royal Affair


Anna Karenina
I’m generally at sea about the style over substance thing if only because Wright’s entire conceit means that the style becomes the substance which makes the work here not just important for the looks but functional.

Katie Spencer and Sarah Greenwood

Cloud Atlas
 SO MUCH IS GOING ON HERE. And it works. My favourite aspect of the production design is a tie between that dun room on the ship Adam travels and the continuous splendour of the fast-food restaurant of 2144. Great work that feels like seven movies in one.

 Hugh Bateup, Uli Hanisch, Rebecca Alleway and Peter Walpole


Great attention to detail both in and out of the limousine, but certainly some of the finest touches are in. Claustrophobic in its austerity, chilling in its meticulous and all so very sleek.

Arvinder Grewal and Joshu de Cartier    

The Deep Blue Sea

Hester’s room is hands down the best decorated room of the year. In the same way the film feels to emanate from the period it imitates the work here is so unassumingly and subtly real in evoking its era.

James Merifield and Debbie Wilson

Moonrise Kingdom

The typical attention detail which means that pausing any random moment uncovers so many “hidden” aspects of the production design team. It also makes the best use of colour of my nominees, making each frame pop like a picture book.

Adam Stockhausen and Kris Moran

FINALISTS: Django Unchained for Candieland; The Hobbit for majestic work in creating good interiors and exteriors; Les Misérables for many things but specifically for that regal church; The Master for excellent period work in in tense rooms; Lincoln for rooms overflowing with gloom and dust; A Royal Affair for handy noble bedrooms and hallways

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Holy Motors; Mirror, Mirror; Prometheus; The Turin Horse

Would Anna Karenina and Cloud Atlas rule your ballots in these categories?


Nikhat said...

Oo great selection.

How Cloud Atlas failed to get a nomination for make up is beyond me.

In terms of costumes, Anna Karenina, Mirror Mirror and Moonrise Kingdom are my favourites.

Production design, Anna Karenina just blew my mind though that opening of Moonrise Kingdom is really something.

Sati. said...

Nice choices! I disliked Les Mis but I agree the make up was very well done. No Snow White and the Huntsman in Costumes? :(

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

nikhat i kept hoping against hope that cloud atlas would make it in some technical categories, was surprised it didn't even make the shortlist for makeup and visual effects :(

sati i really was no fan of snow white and the huntsman but it came close to a mention.