Golden Rule: The Shortlist for Hair and Makeup Oscar Nominees

Now that the Golden Globes have finished, the next Big Award Ceremony is the Oscars themselves. We’ve posted a few articles about the race thus far, including a look at the winners from the Gotham Independent Film Awards, the nominees for the Independent Spirit Awards, the winners of the Golden Globes, and a rundown of how the Globes may have changed the Oscar race in a few categories. Leading up to the announcement of the Oscar Nominees, we’re going to look at where things stand via shortlists and other Award Nominations. Today we’re going to look at the final shortlist for the category of Makeup and Hairstyling for the Oscars.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the final shortlist for Makeup and Hairstyling on December 19th. From this list the Academy will pick Three Nominees, and one winner.

Darkest Hour
Ghost in the Shell
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
I, Tonya
Victoria & Abdul

The catch with this category and some of the other “technical” categories is that Academy members are only sent 10-minute excerpts from each film. Therefore, unless they go out and see the film before voting for nominees, there’s no telling exactly what they’ll see. To help highlight more of these technical aspects, most studios will release “featurettes” around this time that Academy members (or fans in general) can watch to help make a decision.

Now all that being said, the thing to keep in mind with this category is the fact that a lot of the Academy doesn’t always know what’s “makeup & hairstyling” and what’s “visual effects”. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s part of the reason The Shape of Water isn’t shortlisted in this category. I’d bet money that they believe Doug Jones’ performance as the Amphibian Man was something like motion-capture, when in fact, it was all prosthetics. The question now becomes how the Academy leans. There’s a clear pattern of the shortlisted films all falling into one of two categories: Sci-Fi films full of alien or fantasy characters with full prosthetics, and Period Pieces which required lots of research and preparation to create an accurate recreation.

It’s hard to say what will get knocked out of from here, but I predict that the Nominees come down to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Darkest Hour, and Victoria & Abdul. Guardians features tons of aliens, Victoria & Abdul is a period piece, and Darkest Hour is more than likely solely nominated for the transformation of Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill. Overall, this category tends to look something like just that whenever the nominees are announced: a sci-fi blockbuster with heavy prosthetics, a period piece, and a film with one very prominent and very well done set of prosthetics. Darkest Hour takes it over Wonder for that last one, not only because of Gary Oldman’s prosthetics, but also because it is still a period piece. I’m giving Guardians the upper hand to over Ghost in the Shell and Bright because the Academy will have a hard time figuring out what in Ghost was CGI and what wasn’t, and because Bright has the stigma of being a Netflix release. I’m also leaning into Victoria & Abdul more than I, Tonya because it’s a much more obvious Period Piece and features a Queen.

We’ll see how it all plays out when the Oscar Nominees are announced this Tuesday, January 23rd and at the Oscars on March 4th at 8pm ET on ABC. And be sure to stay tuned to Poor Man’s Spoiler for all of our “Golden Rule” articles covering the Oscar race.


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