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« HBO’s LGBT History: The Normal Heart (2014) | Main | Retro Sundance: 2000's You Can Count on Me »
Wednesday
Jan272016

Personal Ballots Continued: Editing, Makeup, Visual FX

I promised daily Film Bitch Award nominations and I aim to deliver since we were supposed to technically be done by now. The best laid plans. Yesterday I shared male acting choices and jazzed up two Oscar charts. Today half of the visual categories have gone up and I've updated the correlative three Oscar charts, too.

FILM EDITING
I'm so disappointed that Academy voters skipped Sicario's Joe Walker in this category so I've rectified that obvious error. Talk about sustaining the tension masterfully for two hours. He's best known for his work with director Steve McQueen and was Oscar-nominated a couple of years ago for 12 Years a Slave. He had a good year since he also edited Blackhat which people found lacking in the emotion and story department but which was quite fine on a craft level. Two editors we interviewed here Nathan Nugent (Room) and Affonso Gonçalves (Carol) are also honored. 

VISUAL FX
Look I get that people didn't love The Avengers: Age of Ultron but passing on its visual effects strikes me as pettiness for feeling disappointed and getting Marvel fatigue. This is state of the art superheroics. Looking over my nominees now I'm realizing it was a very good year for robots: Ultron, The Vision, Ex Machina's Ava, and even Tomorrowland's Athena 

MAKEUP & HAIR
I mostly adhere to Oscar rules with my traditional categories but not here as I am adamantly opposed to this category being ghettoized the way it is with the Academy. The makeup artists are the ONLY artists with an oscar category that are allowed only 3 nominations. Everyone else gets 5 and that is just messed up since every single film uses a hair and makeup team. With five spots, I have room for both of the high profile Oscar nominees because who can forget Leo's horrific zombie face in The Revenant or smoky eyes reaching their gonzo apotheosis in Mad Max Fury Road. For the other spots I've embraced maximum beauty (Carol), stylish comedy (Spy), and the world's most famous detective (Mr Holmes). Read the writeups here.

*If any makeup artists are reading I'd love a better education on how these departments work on film sets. It's one of the behind the scenes jobs where credits dont feel very consistent from film to film in terms of titles of the players.

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Reader Comments (16)

Who'll get the Oscar for costumes this year? Seems a hard one to pick. Usually it's whichever is closest to Royalty Porn, but Cinderella seems like the film that the fewest voters will have seen. Can Carol's (relatively) recent wardrobe break through? Will the flowing frocks of The Danish Girl triumph? Can the Mad Max momentum bring us a major surprise?

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

Nat don't you think nominating Fassbender almost every year since he came to prominence is getting a bit Streepish,just saying.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMary

Regarding the visual effects in The Revenant, I think there's more to it than just the Adventures of Judy. As jaw-droppingly spectacular as Lubezki's lensing is, his impossible shots were obviously helped considerably by CGI. I'm thinking specifically right now of that amazing chase on horseback and over a cliff. It's totally believable, but clearly not done entirely practically. I think the visual effects branch would know enough to recognize how much the VFX contributed to the cinematography. But yeah. Judy was incredible.

For me, no VFX made my heart pound this year as much as in The Walk. Everything about that actual climactic walk sequence was A+.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNicolas Mancuso

@ San FranCinema:
I think Disney's Cinderella (#9 at the box office in the US last year) is a film voters are more likely to have seen than any of the other nominees. It definitely stayed in people's minds enough to get that nomination despite a March opening.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I like your inclusion of "Spy" for best make-up, the fun the make up team had with Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Jason Statham, etc. was impressive.
The stunt work in this film was also top notch - take another look at the kitchen scene.

Nothing beats "Mad Max" for editing and visual effects, but "The Revenant" over "The Walk" for VFX - No Way.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

@Paul Outlaw: point taken. But the designers nominate and the entire Academy votes for winners, so I wonder...maybe we get something more surprising this year? (Yes, I've entered the blindly-hoping-for-surprises portion of the season...)

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

I look at Costume Design as one of those categories that can either make a sweep (The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road) or resist it. I have a suspicion The Danish Girl is going to go home empty-handed. Which leaves the two Sandy Powells. For some reason I'm feeling Cinderella—it's got a nice blend of royalty porn, fantasy, familiarity (designer and subject matter) and box-office clout.

But I'm relishing the thought of a Mad Max sweep.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Mary -- what can i say. he impresses me that much every year! it also helps that he makes million movies because even when i don't like him in something -- i didn't think he was very good in DANGEROUS METHOD for instance -- there's something else right around the corner.

san från & Paul -- i go back and forth on this. it's almost any one of the 5 films is possible for a win. so EXCITING.

January 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm in GIF heaven between that one for Spy and the one for Brooklyn...fun and romance. That's what makes life go.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I get you,The Academy feels the same about Streep I suppose.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMary

TFA, Ex Machina and Mad Max are in my ballot to, so it's only the last two spots that are different from your picks. I actually liked AOU more than the first film - and thought it was entertaining, overall - but I left it off of my VFX ballot in favor of CHAPPiE. While I ultimately didn't like CHAPPiE at all, the visual effects work was great. As for the last remaining spot; while neither broke any new ground, I chose The Martian over Tomorrowland simple because the former's VFX were more convincing to me than the latter's.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

Fassbender has only been nominated once before this year. That's hardly every year since he's come into prominence.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Oh I see what you mean, on this site's nominations.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan

And maybe Nat will get tired of Fassbender. He hasn't been around as long as Streep.

The SPY nomination in make up and hair is particularly inspired. I wish I had thought of it myself.

As for costume design, yeah it's interesting. THE DANISH GIRL and CAROL are both not as period as that category typically goes (no hoop skirts!), but MAD MAX is a bit too fantasy, REVENANT too sparse, and CINDERELLA too... unloved? I'm not sure. I wouldn't be surprised by anything, really, except The Revenant, which even in a sweep would look like lazy god damn voting.

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I'm super on the record about the crafts of SICARIO, but I was especially bummed like you to see it miss out for editing. The border sequence alone is a pretty bravura sequence for continuity's sake alone.

I've been so pleased to see you championing the craft of ROOM all season too. Like SICARIO, I think it's another where the below the line elements all piggyback off of eachother to make a really impressive whole. I know Tom Hooper has made Danny Cohen a bit of a dirty word by proxy, but his visual storytelling in ROOM is so stealthy.

January 27, 2016 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

My favorite awards, way moreso than the Oscars. So looking forward to the extras and scenes!

January 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

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