Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

Like The Film Experience on Facebook

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Comment(s) Du Jour
NBR Winners 

"Something tells me that Patriots Day is this year's American Sniper.... brace yourselves." -Cris

"NBR also called Memoirs of a Geisha one of the top 10 films of the year 10 years ago, so I take these awards with a huge grain of salt." - Cash

Keep TFE Strong

Love the Site? DONATE 

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Subscribe

Entries in Makeup and Hair (84)

Wednesday
May252016

Lukewarm Off the Presses: Beyond Ragnarok & Huppert Fever

Reheating some news we never got around to! But perhaps it's news to you...

Cate Blanchett will be playing Thor's next big bad "Hela". We assume she's the antlered one in this concept art so we cautiously look forward to that costume. But confession: I don't trust Blanchett in villainous mode (*dodges tomatoes*) since she overdid it in both Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Hanna and nearly so in Cinderella and I don't mean overdid it in a fun comic-book kind of way but just too much overall. Plus the Thor movies are easily the worst part of Marvel Studio's work to date. Other new players in Thor: Ragnarok will be Jeff Goldblum, Karl Urban, and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie (a character I loved as a kid so yay, Tessa). And of course Mark Ruffalo as the not jolly green giant and Chris Hemsworth as the guy with the hammer. For some reason they are forcing Sir Anthony Hopkins' Odin back on us (I thought he died in the ssecond movie?) and Tom Hiddleston is back under Loki's horns which is a pity because he deserves to use his time on other things, now, come on. They've wrung that character dry, they've leaned on him so much. 

Apparently the villain in Star Trek Beyond looks like this. It's actually Idris Elba underneath all that makeup. LOUD SIGH. First Oscar Isaac gets buried in ugly latex for Apocalypse and now Idris? Idris Elba is, and I think the internet will back me up on this assertion, one of the most attractive people on the planet. So why won't Hollywood show us his face? It is really pissing me off. This year he's onscreen as a tiger (Jungle Book) a buffalo (Zootopia), a sea lion (Finding Dory), and this alien but not as a human man you can actually look at. As a pasty white boy I am fully aware that there are people who think I shouldn't talk about race... but as a human person stuff like this is really getting to me. I am not one to jump on every perceived racial slight and proclaim racism (As I said much to the internet's displeasure this past season, I think #OscarsSoWhite was oft-misguided because the actor's branch is not the correct target for such things given both Hollywood and Oscar history) but I can't look at Idris Elba's career, and Zoe Saldana's career (note how she's always blue or green in her movies... until she was a black woman doing blackface -yikes!) and Lupita Nyong'o's career post Oscar (a CGI alien and a CGI wolf so far, but not an actress you can gaze at despite her considerable beauty) and not KNOW that Hollywood's race problem is dire and also, I'd wager, subconcious.

This is not complicated, really, if casting directors, directors, agents, executives, managers, and maybe even the actors on occasion would just think decisions through a little more, especially in regards to the optics. FACT: People like to look at beautiful actors. They always have. Stop hiding them from us! 

Isabelle Huppert is having a good year. I missed a lot of articles on Elle and Isabelle Huppert's time in front of the press at Cannes. In a new interview at the Guardian about Elle and her latest stage performance in Phaedra there's a lot of fascinating tidbits including her repetitive unwillingness to talk about other famous actors but her chatterbox response to questions about directors. She also wants to do more comedies...

Viewers do tend to think of her on-screen persona as a full-on neurotic, steeped in psychosexual anguish.

“Yes, but you can be a comic neurotic too.” So does she feel underrated doing comedy? “I certainly do feel…” she hesitates a moment; I take that as a yes. “That’s why I’d love to work with Woody Allen or Noah Baumbach – to do comedy in that New York vein.” But her serious roles, she insists, often contain more humour than is apparent. “Even The Piano Teacher – although I wouldn’t try to persuade anyone that was an out and out comedy…”

Whew. I was worried for a second. That film is not a knee slapper. As for Huppert in comedy. Can you handle that? I liked her in I Heart Huckabees and especially in 8 Women but in both she was working with or riffing on that dramatic neurotic performance so her comedy was stemming from perceptions of her as an actor, just as much if not more than her actual performances.

 

Wednesday
May252016

Judy by the Numbers: "The Trolley Song"

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

It's difficult to overstate the importance of Meet Me in St. Louis to the myth that is Judy Garland. The Wizard of Oz guaranteed Judy immortality at age 17, but the 1944 Freed musical would be the first Garland product to assemble the pieces of her myth beyond her larger-than-life talent. Though Meet Me in St. Louis is usually known as arguably the best "adult" performance by Judy Garland in an MGM musical, this time the alternately exciting and exhausting events offscreen would be as important to her image as her sparkling turn in Technicolor as Esther Smith.
 
The Movie:
 Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
The Songwriters: Hugh Martin (lyrics), Ralph Blane (music)
The Players: Judy Garland, Mary Astor, Margaret O'Brien, Lucille Bremer, Leon Ames, directed by Vincente Minnelli

 

The Story: Long after the completion of Meet Me In St. Louis, Judy Garland would state that she never felt more beautiful than when she was on that film. Look closely during the number and you'll see why. Look past her inner glow and you'll notice some small cosmetic changes: her teeth are crooked and her nose isn't. Though MGM had capped Judy's teeth during The Wizard of Oz and put her through dozens of makeup and wardrobe changes in order to make Garland a more typical MGM girl, director Vincente Minnelli and makeup designer Dorothy Ponedel hit on the truth: Judy Garland wasn't a typical MGM girl. Ponedel and Minnelli's secrets were well-placed blush, an appreciation for color design, and the knowledge that Judy's imperfections were as winning as her talents.

Of course, Judy's inner glow could have been from the other big news in her life: she was in love with Vincente Minnelli. The 21-year-old was working on her first divorce (from musician David Rose), and found Minnelli's mind, and the way he made her feel she looked, absolutely glamorous. For many reasons - his sexuality, her increasing problems, their incredible daughter - this is Garland's most famous marriage. However, the relationship is also famous for the problems it created.

One problem Minnelli couldn't create but did witness onset was the beginning of Judy's difficulties. Though it was originally scheduled for 58 days, Meet Me In St. Louis didn't wrap for 70 days. This was blamed, in part, on Judy's tardiness. Exhausted from a mandatory war bonds tour and initially dissatisfied with playing another teenager, Judy snuck out of rehearsals, began showing up late, and outright skipped 13 days of shooting. At the time, it may have seemed like petulant childishness or diva-like drama. Unfortunately, it would become a pattern that would eventually kill her career. In some ways, Meet Me In St. Louis was Judy Garland's peak at MGM. From 1945 onward, she would never make the studio as much money - or be as carefree - as she had while singing on that trolley.

Sunday
Feb212016

More Guild Honors: Make-Up, Sound, and Adapted Scripts

Three sets of awards were handed out yesterday so let's talk MUAHS (Makeup and Hair Stylists), CAS (Cinema Audio Society) and USC Scripters.

USC Scripter
This Adapted Screenplay prize (not a guild prize) is from the University of Southern California but it's built itself up as quite a tradition in awards season. This is its 28th year! The prize goes to both the original source material author and the Screenwriter adapting it. Their winner usually wins the Oscar and they chose (no surprise) The Big Short originally a non-fiction book by Michael Lewis (all three the movies based on his books have been nominated for Best Picture) and adapted by Charles Randolph & Adam McKay. 

ICYMI: Manuel's fun ranking of the most quotable Screenplay nominees

Cinema Audio Society
The Revenant took this prize beating Mad Max, Bridge of Spies, Star Wars, and The Hateful Eight. It's up against the first three again on Oscar night plus The Martian. 

Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild
Period Makeup: Mad Max Fury Road
Period Hair: Cinderella 
Special Makeup Effects: Mad Max Fury Road
Contemporary Makeup: Furious 7
Contemporary Hairstyling: Pitch Perfect 2

Carol keeps losing prizes (sigh). Anyway, solid choices though one can quibble. I never took in Furious 7 so that one is a bit of a headscratcher sight unseen... especially with Sicario in the running. It's also a bit perplexing to think of Pitch Perfect 2's hair work topping Spy's funny and elaborate quick changes (which I favoried in my own awardage) or Ex Machina's sleek style. You can see the complete MUAHS awards here (American Horror Story: Hotel, Game of Thrones and Dancing with the Stars were big in their TV categories).

Do you think Fury Road, The Revenant, and The Big Short will repeat these wins at the Oscars?

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.

Wednesday
Jan202016

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?