NIGHT 1: DESIGN, FEATURES & SHORTS –
2018 Oscar Blog/Podcast February 28, 2018
2017 was a great year in film and this Sunday the best of the best are being honored at the 90th annual Academy Awards. In this five-part blog, I’ll guide you through the nominations and what to expect when the envelopes are opened; that is if the right envelopes are opened.
Let’s start with the toughest categories to predict: the short films, documentary feature and foreign film. Predicting these is like playing pin the tail on the donkey, so if you can get them correct in your Oscar office pool then you are well on your way to winning. The following films seem to be the front-runners in their respective categories…
Best Animated Short Film - Dear Basketball - Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
Best Live Action Short Film - DeKalb Elementary - Reed Van Dyk
Best Documentary Short Subject - Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 - Frank Stiefel
Best Documentary Feature - Visages villages (Faces Places) - Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda, JR
Best Foreign Language Film of the Year - Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman)
Now let’s get to the Design categories (Makeup/Hair, Costume & Production Design). There were some impeccably designed films this past year and here’s the cream of the crop according to the Academy.
Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
· Darkest Hour - Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
· Victoria & Abdul - Daniel Phillips, Loulia Sheppard
· Wonder - Arjen Tuiten
Who I’d vote for: Darkest Hour – Gary Oldman’s transformation into Winston Churchill is an astounding accomplishment. When he wins his first Oscar this Sunday, I guarantee you he will mention his 200 hours in the makeup chair and appreciatively thank his hair and makeup team.
Who will win: Darkest Hour – Oldman’s hair and makeup team will have their own chance to thank whoever they want. The other nominees just don’t compare. I understand why Victoria & Abdul was nominated for costume but I’m not convinced it should be in this category. Wonder will get some votes but this is Darkest Hour in a landslide.
Best Achievement in Costume Design
· Beauty and the Beast - Jacqueline Durran
· Darkest Hour - Jacqueline Durran
· Phantom Thread - Mark Bridges
· The Shape of Water - Luis Sequeira
· Victoria & Abdul - Consolata Boyle
Who I’d vote for: Beauty and the Beast – With a March release date I was a little afraid that Beauty and the Beast would get overlooked this year. That wasn’t the case with its multiple nominations. Anyone who loved the original animated film should be blown away by the wardrobe replications.
Who will win: Phantom Thread – The Academy will more than likely lean in the direction of a film where the costumes are central to the story; as central to the story as the unforgettable acting performances. And in this particular case that is saying a lot. Consider Phantom Thread a lock for Best Costume.
Best Achievement in Production Design
· Beauty and the Beast - Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
· Blade Runner 2049 - Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
· Darkest Hour - Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
· Dunkirk - Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
· The Shape of Water - Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeffrey A. Melvin
Who I’d vote for: Blade Runner 2049 – Without a question. As beautiful and intricate as the other nominees are, Blade Runner 2049’s design is a marvel. It’s easily the best looking film of the year in large part due to its production design and cinematography by Roger Deakins. I’m rooting hard for this one but…
Who will win: The Shape of Water – This film is the Academy’s darling this year. If it doesn’t take the big prize of Best Picture home, it will more than likely have at least one consolation prize in Best Production Design. Cronos, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak: Guillermo del Toro’s films always have a unique and beautiful look. This year his design team will be rewarded.
Check back in tomorrow for Part 2: Music & Sound!