Though it's perhaps unfair to possible future Oscar nominees who are (tentatively) celebrating, the finalist lists that are announced in the categories that have "bake-offs" have an unfortunate side effect: the story by necessity becomes about who didn't make it; "finalist" status is not, we must remember, an Oscar nomination and might not turn into one but rejection is hard fact. The Oscar's makeup branch, though fond of showy prosthetics like old age makeup or fantastical creatures has never nominated a zombie movie and also isn't crazy about horror (despite horror employing so many makeup artists) so I knew the chances weren't great for World War Z or Warm Bodies or Evil Dead or any other genre films though I am a little surprised that Oz: The Great and Powerful was already culled. Yes, Mila Kunis's Wicked Witch looked dumb but this branch's history doesn't always give one confidence that they'll choose well.
Surprising Rejections and Unexpected Embraces after the jump...
Though I predicted it for a nomination I'm less surprised than most people seem to be that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Parts 2 of Oh God When Will Peter Jackson Leave Middle Earth? isn't on the finalist list. This is not the first time the makeup committee has passed on the second leg of a trilogy/quadrilogy/whatever. Technically, series work can be disqualified when there isn't enough new work on a particular movie but it's tough to say when and why this happens since the makeup branch is rarely consistent on this point. But then the music branch is rarely consistent with their rulings either in Original Score and Song. AMPAS will do what AMPAS will do.
What does surprise is the absence of 12 Years a Slave's convincing scarring work and character detail (what were they thinking?) as well as no Rush, given the burn victim work on Daniel Brühl's Niki Lauda and the way those perfect blonde Hemsworth tresses are always catching the light and brushing against sk.. sorry, DISTRACTED!
But let's talk those films that DID make the list...
Multiple showy hairstyles from up dos to perms to combovers... and they're plot points, too. This one better be nominated.
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
I don't recall them usually going for "sickly" work but my memory is shot -- it's got to be Rayon that did it, right?
THE GREAT GATSBY
Flappers and suave millionaires. For all its arguable casting or performance flaws, everyone did look delicious in this movie,
HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS
If they were going to go there, why not Warm Bodies?
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
A surprise given that the first film didn't make the finalist list. What changed for them? Was it Katniss' Cleopatra hair/makeup?
JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA
Because old age thrills them... (except when it doesn't)
THE LONE RANGER
Johnny Depp is an arguable good luck charm for this category with Depp-centric nominations for Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean 1 & 3 and a makeup win for Ed Wood. As for this possible nomination, Tonto as ancient museum artifact was questionable (or maybe I just loathed that framing device and that's clouding my view of the technical work?) but Depp did look striking and the rest of the characters were well realized visually.
I'm guessing American Hustle, The Lone Ranger and Bad Grandpa. You?