Oscar History

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« "12" It Is For Detroit (Short Term) & the AAFCA (Years a Slave) | Main | Catching Up With the Linkses »

Oscar Rejects and Finalists: Makeup and Hairstyling

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.  

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?

Flappers and suave millionaires.  For all its arguable casting or performance flaws, everyone did look delicious in this movie,

If they were going to go there, why not Warm Bodies?  

A surprise given that the first film didn't make the finalist list. What changed for them? Was it Katniss' Cleopatra hair/makeup?

Because old age thrills them... (except when it doesn't) 

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? 

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Reader Comments (19)

Regarding Catching Fire, I think it's that the voting members got the second film more. You spend more time in the Capital, so the satirical approach to high fashion makeup and hair makes sense. Catching Fire is all about appearances and playing into the game. Hair and Makeup is never more important to the trilogy turned quadrilogy than in Catching Fire. You see how the Capital infects the victors with ridiculous fashion choices and how victory for the prep teams means a more glamorous lifestyle. Plus, much more fantastic injury scenarios than head bashing and an allergic reaction to future bees. Don't expect a repeat for the two Mockingjay films.

In conclusion, the Makeup Branch will troll us again and tacitly encourage another Really? winner like The Wolfman in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. And MTV should be preparing those "Academy Award Nominated" covers for the DVD and Bluray of Bad Grandpa.

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Hustle, Hunger Games and Bad Grandpa. Lone Ranger is the one film everyone wants to forget happened while the other three made/will make lots of money. Hustle for the win.

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

American Hustle is the only best picture nominee of the bunch so that will probably win, but bases on the selections, I think Hunger Games may walk away with the win this year.

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertom

Yes, Hustle FTW.

But the non-inclusion of 12 Years is troublesome. So much detailed work there, even in the non-showy pars. Edjiofor's face throughout changes so much. At times, he seems to have some sort of rash. And even when it fades, there are scars left behind. Really sad to see it miss here.

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

On a completely unrelated note, I was trying to talk my friend into seeing Philomina with me this weekend. I told her it was about an 80 year old woman trying to find the baby she was forced to give up for adaption and that it was supposed to be a comedy. She gave me this horrified look and asked "What part of this movie is funny? It sounds depressing!"

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertom

Although I pretty much hated Prisoners, I'm shocked and saddened to see the extraordinary makeup (particularly for Paul Dano in the second half of the film) not being recognized. Shameful.

As for what will make it in: American Hustle, Catching Fire and Dallas Buyers Club.

December 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Definitely an underdog, but I was rooting for Captain Phillips and the slow (and kinda gross) pile-up of injuries on Hanks and the hijackers. Alas.

Can't believe they left out 12 Years a Slave.

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

YAY! so thrilled for both AMERICAN HUSTLE and--even though i'd have preferred to see EVIL DEAD--the HANSEL & GRETEL inclusion is richly deserved!

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan Steinke


Also: why was this announced late Saturday night? Burying the lead for some reason?

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

GATSBY and HUSTLE, by the way, clearly helped by the "hairstyling" thing, I reckon. I doubt they'd have made it otherwise.

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I say Hustle and Hunger Games easily make it in (two Lawrence movies) and then I want to go for Dallas to make the category more legit but the branch usually has one crazy nomination and I feel like it will be Lone Ranger which I hope to god it is not.

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

As for the Makeup branch nominating "sickly" work, "Philadelphia" got a nomination for Tom Hanks' descent to AIDS.

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

I'm guessing it'll be Hustle, Gatsby, and Lone Ranger, which is a guarantee that it'll be Hunger Games, Bad Grandpa, and The Time Machine.

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

I think the attention for Dallas Buyers Club is because Jared Leto looks so convincing and not necessarily for the sickly makeup.

The Hunger Games probably won't get in. I'm thinking American Hustle, Bad Grandpa, and Hansel & Gretel. Horror films don't do well as a rule, but the makeup branch loves onscreen monster transformations. As bad as that film was, they had a lot of unique monster designs that switched on and off during the film.

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I know Rush flopped, but that omission in makeup is SHOCKING. It's a very well-done make-up job on Daniel Brühl.

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

"The Lone Ranger' might have been a mess but it was a very nice looking mess.

December 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Considering barely anybody in DALLAS actually looked sick, a nomination for actors being made to look sickly would be strange.

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Kind of surprised The Butler isn't here. In fact, all three films I had as nominees (including Hobbit and Rush) are gone. Weird.

Bank on it - with this list, Bad Grandpa gets in.

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Ideally, it would be American Hustle, The Great Gatsby (all those perfect hairstyles) and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (everything is such an upgrade from the first film, makeup and hair included) but I have a sickly feeling The Lone Ranger and/or Bad Grandpa will spoil this category. But this branch is so fuckin weird so who knows: they love certain bait-y stuff except when they don't and they'll never nominate a certain style of something except when they do.

Come to think of it, I'm gonna rooting for Catching Fire here. Costumes too but I think that'll be an easier get, especially with their branch change this year.

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

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