Today, we look at Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Best Art Direction. Three categories most people couldn’t care less about.
I’ll agree with you on Makeup. It’s an essential piece of moviemaking, but it’s also not a particularly exciting Oscar category. Typically the category is boring, or you know who’s going to win as soon as it’s announced. Or both. You’ll see when you look at which films won the category — it’s obvious.
Best Costume Design is a category I do like. In theory. In practice — it’s too much of the “Best Period Piece” award. They always give it to whatever Victorian-era costumes are nominated. Which doesn’t lead to particularly interesting categories.
Best Art Direction, on the other hand, now there’s a category I like. Because Art Direction (in layman’s terms: sets. Every set, every prop, everything you see in a scene that’s not the actors or their clothes — that’s art direction. Hogwarts? Art Direction. The wands? Art Direction) is something that can be really interesting. Look at some of the nominees over the years and you’ll go, “Oooh…yeah.” I really gained respect for this category in 2002, when they showed sketches of all the sets of the nominees, from concept to execution, and they showed Dante Ferretti’s brilliant designs for Gangs of New York (which really should have won that year). Since then, I’ve paid much more attention to the art direction of a film, and now view this category as one of the top awards.
So that’s what we’re doing today. We’ll start with Costume Design and end on Art Direction. (more…)