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Longlists to Nominees: Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup

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Apologies to scenographers everywhere, but this wasn’t a great year for sets or costumes, plus, and after getting so bogged down in the Original Score article yesterday, I wanted to get through these as quickly as possible so I don’t fall behind schedule. But fear not–as always, I will be dilligent in my selections (because if I don’t indulge my own bullshit, who will?). To start, let’s tackle Production Design.

  • 47 Ronin
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Oz the Great and Powerful
  • Pacific Rim
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Let’s see…my intermediate list is The Great Gatsby, Her, The Hobbit, Pacific Rim, and 12 Years a Slave.

The Hobbit is on. How the Academy overlooked it in favor of American Hustle is a mystery to me. The Laketown set (pictured above) is just incredible. So that’s one.

Now, for the rest:

  • 47 Ronin: Very colorful, very expensive. Worth considering, though it’s the costumes here that really shine.
  • The Great Gatsby: Not a fan of the movie, but those sets were pretty impressive. I’ll allow it.
  • Her: A surprise Oscar nominee. I don’t know if I totally see it, but I love the movie and wouldn’t mind giving it the slot. We’ll see.
  • Inside Llewyn Davis: I can see it, but…I don’t know. I’m not especially feeling it. (Like I said, not a great year.)
  • Oz the Great and Powerful: It’s very colorful, but it’s basically the 1939 movie. If I’m going to nominate this for anything, it’ll be Costume Design.
  • Pacific Rim: It’s a pretty solid piece of sci-fi production design. The shatterdome, future Hong Kong, etc….it’s a good-looking movie. Probably worth the nomination.
  • Saving Mr. Banks: The flashbacks to early 20th-century Australia are what really got it here. I’ll table it at the very least.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: There’s some good stuff here, but I would say it doesn’t really exceed the first film. So I might just pass on it.
  • 12 Years a Slave: It all looks as it should–and convinces. That’s enough for me.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: This was a holdover from well before I saw the film. There’s nothing here really worth nominating.

So here’s what I’ve still got: 47 Ronin, The Great Gatsby, Her, Pacific Rim, Saving Mr. Banks, 12 Years a Slave.

47 Ronin I can pass on. And…choosing between Her and Saving Mr. Banks, I’ll take the movie I like better. I’ll trust the Academy.

And we have:

  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Pacific Rim
  • 12 Years a Slave

Now, onto the costumes.

  • American Hustle
  • 47 Ronin
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Oz the Great and Powerful
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • 12 Years a Slave

Initial list: 47 Ronin, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Oz the Great and Powerful, Saving Mr. Banks, 12 Years a Slave

Intermediate list: 47 Ronin, The Great Gatsby, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Saving Mr. Banks, 12 Years a Slave

Well. The lists are 80% identical. It really comes down to this: do I go with The Great Gatsby, do I go with Oz the Great and Powerful, or do I open up that slot and scour the longlist?

Oz‘s costumes…meh. Really, just looking at the longlist, I see only one viable option, and that’s American Hustle. So do I go 20s or 70s? Either works.

Fuck it. I’ll take Hustle. It just stands out to me a little more. No idea what my final choice here will be, honestly.

The nominees:

  • American Hustle
  • 47 Ronin
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • 12 Years a Slave

We’ll wrap it up with Makeup.

  • 47 Ronin
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Lone Survivor
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
  • Oz the Great and Powerful
  • Pacific Rim
  • Prisoners
  • Rush
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Warm Bodies

Original list: The Hobbit, Prisoners, Rush, Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave

Intermediate list: The Hobbit, Lone Survivor, Prisoners, Rush, 12 Years a Slave

Interesting. Again, they match up 4/5, but…how do you reconcile this? Leave Star Trek off? Drop Prisoners? Drop Rush

Let’s get this clear: The Hobbit and 12 Years a Slave shouldn’t go anywhere. That much is certain. And Lone Survivor‘s gore effects were damned good. So it stays. I think we can all agree on those three.

But we have two more slots, and three films outright jockeying to get it, plus the rest of the longlist to contend with. But…let’s pare that list down real quick.

47 Ronin can go. There’s not really enough there to worry about. The Hunger Games…I ended up bumping the first one, and the work here is really strong. So…let’s hold onto it for a second. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom…nah. They did a decent job with it, but we’re already pressed for space. Oz is off because the makeup for a certain character (it’d be a spoiler to say who, but if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean) is really…not good at all. And Pacific Rim…it’s nothing noteworthy in terms of makeup. At least not that I remember. And there are much better examples of zombie makeup out there than in Warm Bodies.

So that means we’ve got The Hunger Games, Prisoners, and Rush duking it out for two spots. And really…I should have The Hunger Games in there. Having four slots taken up by gore effects is a little much. But do I go with Paul Dano beaten and bloody, or Daniel Brühl’s burn scars? Well…let us compare them. (click to enlarge)

makeup comparison

Unpleasant, I know. But very, very effective. My own gut instinct is to go with Prisoners, because…when you first see it, especially the first time you see the film, it really jolts you. It’s a reinforcement of the film’s themes. The work in Rush is subtler, but no less accomplished. The veins, the ear…it’s really well done. If it weren’t for The Hunger Games being worthy, I’d let them both on, but sometimes sacrifices must be made. So, by a narrow margin, the edge goes to Prisoners. But I could see myself changing it to Rush at a future point. It’s a very close 6th place.

The lineup:

  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Lone Survivor
  • Prisoners
  • 12 Years a Slave

Tomorrow, Editing. Where shit gets serious.

 

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