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Entries in Deborah Cook (2)

Tuesday
Apr092019

April Foolish Predictions #6: Costume Design

Our annual April Foolish Oscar Predictions continue

Can "Aladdin" repeat "Beauty & The Beast"'s success in Costume Design? And can we ever forgive Michael Wilkinson for making Aladdin wear a shirt for the whole movie?

The last few years of the Costume Design category have been very Powell/Atwood heavy as Oscar's two design queens have either won again (Atwood in 2016) or been double-nominated twice-over (Powell in 2015 and 2018) but it looks like we'll be taking a wee break from those much honored artists this year. Will there be any room room for first-time nominees (Paul Tazewell, Mayes C Rubeo, Julian Day, Daniel Orlandi?) or will we get mostly costuming regulars who could continue to march to Atwood and Powell-like status (Jacqueline Durran, Albert Wolsky, Consolata Boyle, Alexandra Byrne?)

Here's the chart (and the prediction index if you haven't been playing along). But after the jump some images to whet your appetite for the year in costuming to come...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec082014

Team FYC: "The Boxtrolls" for Costume Design

Editor's Note: We're featuring individually chosen FYC's for various longshots in the Oscar race. We'll never repeat a film or a category so we hope you enjoy the variety of picks. And if you're lucky enough to be an AMPAS, HFPA, or Critics Group voter, take note! Here's Andrew on The Boxtrolls.

Will an animated film ever get a fair chance of making it into Oscar's costume design category?  

This past decade alone, the stop motion wing of animated film has impressed with characters from Corpse Brides to Foxes Fantastic. It's a shame to ignore fine costume design simply because it's not happening in a live action setting. Enter: this consideration for The Boxtrolls for a myriad of reasons.

The intricate designs amaze with their attention to period detail - there’s almost no question that were this a live action film Cook’s work would emerge as a significant contender. The levels of eccentricity, too, push it up beyond your standard period fare.  I’m moved to think of Jacqueline Durran’s Oscar-winning work on Anna Karenina (2012), which wasn't just ornate as period work but also overwhelmingly in touch with the idiosyncratic tone of its film and the characters inside it. From Winnie to Lady Portley-Rind to Mr Trout and onwards The Boxtrolls is an impressive case of costume actually informing character. When a character's costume is so specific it couldn't work for another character, you know it's on to something. For The Boxtrolls, costumes are not incidental (which makes the ommission of Cook's name from the credits for her work on IMDB's page for The Boxtolls that more egregious).

Laika Inc (the studio that brought us ParaNorman and the excellent Coraline) seem to be campaigning hard for Deborah Cook's work to make Oscar history. It’s an ambitious goal and, like acclaimed motion capture acting, it's probably a long road before this becomes an Oscar reality, but the fact that her work is being acknowledged and publicly discussed is a step in the right direction.

If we were to ask you to name five films this year where character attributes are so reflective in and dependent on the specificity of the costumes, wouldn’t The Boxtrolls be on your list? For sheer beauty and innovation wouldn't it make your top three? That’s a good enough reason to launch a rousing campaign for Cook’s work.