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First Look at Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Kieran, here. The three films nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling at the Oscars this are an interesting bunch.  The Academy had a lot of options to choose from and it almost feels miraculous that they didn’t default nominate things like The Danish Girl or Black Mass, which (questions of merit aside) are practically begging the viewer to notice the makeup work in both cases.  Even if they’re not yours, it’s a respectable crop of nominees. An aside: if we’re going to get five original song nominees every year no matter what, why only three nominees in this category? Curious…

 Mad Max: Fury RoadLesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, Damian Martin

Previous Work: A lot of features with both George Miller and Baz Luhrmann, but as supervisors (makeup supervisors don’t get nominated, so they weren’t cited when Moulin Rouge! was nominated in 2001)

How They Got Nominated: It almost feels like a silly thing to ponder when looking at the rich tapestry of character designs populating Mad Max: Fury Road. In a way, it could have all felt very random and directionless, but manages to feel cohesive in an “organized chaos” kind of way. It all feels of a piece, even if the makeup work varies greatly from character-to-character. Lesley Vanderwalt has stated that Miss Giddy was the character who took the longest to create, with her intricate, other-worldly body etchings.

 The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Love Larson, Eva Von Bahr

Previous Work: Many Swedish films, though they did work on David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (not the original Swedish language version, oddly enough).

How They Got Nominated: Our Alone, Yet Not Alone nominee of 2015 in that “Who? For what?” kind of way. Few were predicting this to get in, though we probably should have been.  Old age makeup is to the makeup branch what gunfire is to the sound branch—its mere presence in a film automatically makes it a contender. Not to say that there’s undeserving makeup work at play in The 100 Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (it’s on Amazon for anyone who wants to check it out). The old age makeup here is…about as good as old age makeup should look in a major motion picture. It’s not wholly convincing in terms of believability, nor is it Benjamin Button-level absurd in how over-the-top it is. And (just in case you were wondering) this film has not replaced Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? as the longest title of an Academy Award-nominated film.

 The Revenant – Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman, Robert A. Pandini

Previous Work: Siân Grigg is basically Leonardo DiCaprio’s J. Roy Helland. He’s been his makeup artist on every film since Titanic. If the campaign is not playing up this angle already, they really should be. And here's hoping Leo thanks him in his speech.

How They Got Nominated: The Academy clearly liked The Revenant a whole lot. But, even setting aside the films massive nomination tally, there is good makeup work going on here. In fact, of all The Revenant’s 37 nominations, this is the one it arguably deserves the most (sorry, Leo). The team is in it to win it, too. They’re already making the rounds about how Leo sat in hair and makeup for an exhausting five hours each day to apply the wounds and gashes, which do look pretty impressive.

 What’s your pick to win among these nominees? What missed out on a nomination that was deserving?

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Reader Comments (11)

To be honest I thought that the Revenant's gashes actually looked distractingly bad--I thought that they were prosthetics. The Mad Max detail works (which contribute a lot to characters) are my vote.

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

The lone Oscar category where any choice would be a correct one.

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I mean, I predicted THE 100-YEAR-OLD MAN the moment is appeared on the shortlist, but nobody seems to remember that (even TFE's own podcast!) so I'll use this moment to boast as such. The work is stellar.

I hope MAD MAX wins, but there's really not obvious bad nomination so whoever wins will be worthy in their own way. Although part of me wants THE 100-YEAR-OLD MAN to win, just for the amusement of people being so confused.

January 20, 2016 | Registered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Does Carol & Brooklyn qualify?? I thot the make-up & hair (esp Carol) r FLAWLESS!!!

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Kudos to you Glenn for seeing that nom coming - I'm still hoping Mad Max wins because of the variety of looks and how good they all were. Please not The Revenant - which was really only about Tom Hardy and Leo.
Why are their only 3 nominations in this category ?

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

The detail in Mad Max is incredible...

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I really hope it's Mad Max. Both because it's so amazing and just genuinely the best makeup nominee - I mean look at everyone it's amazing the whole look of that movie is just divine- but also the fact that so much of The Revenant's narrative buildup for pretty much every category is: "It was really really hard and took a long long time" and just. Complaining about actually making the movie. And as much as I did like that makeup I just can't bring myself to care about it if that's how their campaigning it J. Roy Helland the hell out of that campaign if you want but please just stop.

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

I just realized that the only problem with trying to J. Roy Helland that narrative is the possibility that someone brings up J. Edgar and I'm sure no current nominee (especially in the makeup branch) wants anyone thinking about that shit.

January 20, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKieran Scarlett

I hope Mad Max, and that J. Roy Helland and Charlize Theron give out the award.

January 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

Literally everything about making The Revenant was a trial.... five hours in a makeup chair!? The horror!

January 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBD

Sian Grigg is actually female!

February 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTM

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