Oscars 2014 Category Breakdown: Best Makeup & Hairstyling

This is a tradition for me. Every year, before the Oscars, I break down every single one of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with each category, how it works, what its history is, how it usually turns out, and also as a precursor to my picks article, allowing me to get most of the heavy lifting out of the way beforehand.

How these work is — I go over each category’s history, give you all the previous winners and nominees, then list the current year’s nominees. And then I’ll go over how each of the guilds (if there is a corresponding guild) have went, and how that corresponds to the Oscars (some guilds mean a lot to how a category will play out. Others mean nothing). It’s basically everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision when you make your picks on Oscar night. And then I also rank the nominees at the end in terms of where I see them in terms of their likelihood to win.

Today is Best Makeup & Hairstyling. Which only has three nominees. Sort of a three-fifths compromise.

Year Best Makeup Winners Other Nominees
1981 An American Werewolf in London Heartbeeps
1982 Quest for Fire Gandhi
1983 No award given. No category.
1984 Amadeus Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes2010
1985 Mask The Color PurpleRemo Williams: The Adventure Begins
1986 The Fly The Clan of the Cave BearLegend
1987 Harry and the Hendersons Happy New Year
1988 Beetlejuice Coming to AmericaScrooged
1989 Driving Miss Daisy The Adventures of Baron MunchausenDad
1990 Dick Tracy Cyrano de BergeracEdward Scissorhands
1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day HookStar Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula Batman BeginsHoffa
1993 Mrs. Doubtfire PhiladelphiaSchindler’s List
1994 Ed Wood Forrest GumpMary Shelley’s Frankenstein
1995 Braveheart My Family, Mi FamiliaRoommates
1996 The Nutty Professor Ghosts of MississippiStar Trek: First Contact
1997 Men in Black Mrs. BrownTitanic
1998 Elizabeth Saving Private RyanShakespeare in Love
1999 Topsy-Turvy Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged MeBicentennial Man


2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas The CellShadow of the Vampire
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring A Beautiful MindMoulin Rouge!
2002 Frida The Time Mahine
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
2004 Lemony Snicker’s A Series of Unfortunate Events The Passion of the ChristThe Sea Inside
2005 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Cinderella ManStar Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
2006 Pan’s Labyrinth ApocalyptoClick
2007 La Vie en Rose NorbitPirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
2008 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Dark KnightHellboy II: The Golden Army
2009 Star Trek Il DivoThe Young Victoria
2010 The Wolfman Barney’s VersionThe Way Back
2011 The Iron Lady Albert NobbsHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2012 Les Misérables HitchcockThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
2013 Dallas Buyers Club Jackass Presents Bad GrandpaThe Lone Ranger

There’s no guild that announces for this, so we’ll just get right into the category.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Guardians of the Galaxy

This is the first time all three contenders were major Best Picture contenders since 2001. In terms of the shortlist they gave, it’s not surprising. I got nothing else for this.


3. Foxcatcher — I have no real basis for ranking this category as I have. Any one of the three could very easily take this. The rankings here truly don’t matter and I’m just telling you how I think of them, in my own twisted, cut off from reality way. This movie… I think of it as just the noses. They put a nose on Carell and, slightly more subtly, put a nose on Tatum. There’s not a whole lot that screams “makeup” here. And the hairstyling is all closely cropped “Roman” hair. I, personally, can’t see this winning the category. I’d have an easier time believing an (unnominated) Theory of Everything could win (which is kind of the same thing). But, on the other hand, it clearly has support from the Academy, ending up with, what… five nominations? Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Screenplay and this. So it’s got support. It’s just that I don’t think this is the type of film that screams, “Let’s find a place to give it something.” I think this could end up like Moneyball, where it just gets shut out due to them liking other stuff more. So I consider this the third of the three, even though it could easily win.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy — This one, I think, could be a red herring, but I put it second just because I can see the makeup. Drax is all makeup. Gamora is green. Yondu is blue. You can see the jobs they did on a lot of the characters. and the hair and stuff. I can see the jobs they did. To me, that’s more likely a winner than Foxcatcher. Now, couple of things… yes, the movie was liked and respected, but it only managed two nominations. This and Visual Effects. It could have gotten Sound nominations and had a respectable nominations total. But it didn’t get them. So I don’t think this has enough support to the point where people are gonna go, “Yeah, let’s get it an award.” It could easily win this on merit alone, but I don’t know. Actually, looking back, they do tend to go with movies like this here over Best Picture contenders, unless the contender is something like Benjamin Button, where makeup plays a major factor. So this could actually be considered your frontrunner. Gonna have to think more about this.

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel — This isn’t your classic Makeup winner. I don’t know if this is actually the frontrunner. Guardians, if you looked at this in ten years and saw it won Makeup, you’d go, “Yeah, that makes sense.” The only reason I put this here is because, with nine nominations, I feel like they’re gonna give it something. It could be this. This is one of the innocuous ones. Then again, outside of Tilda (which was an amazing job), how much makeup and hair is actually in this movie? The frontrunner status was mainly me thinking, “They’re gonna give it something.” Maybe Costumes and/or Production Design are what it gets. Maybe Guardians is the one that’s gonna win this. Maybe it’s Foxcatcher. Don’t know. It’s a tough category, and will be one of the small handful (there are always like three) that I just don’t know about and guess my way through in the end.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Best Visual Effects. And no, sadly the fake baby wasn’t nominated.


One response

  1. BlueFox94

    It’s Guardians, not the Theory of Everything, that should be on the list.

    February 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm

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