Oscars 2017 Category Breakdown: Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Every year, as we lead up to the Oscars, I break down each of the 24 categories. I do this to familiarize everyone with the category; what the trends are, how the guilds and stuff help (or don’t), etc. I also do it as a precursor to my giant Oscar ballot. I get most of the heavy lifting out of the way here, so that way when I get to the article, I’m just kind of riffing on how I think it’ll turn out and talking myself into all the bad decisions. It’s like college. And this is the pregame.

How these articles work is — I give you all the previous winners and nominees of each of the categories, then tell you how accurate each of the respective guilds and precursors are in what they vote for versus what wins the Oscar, tell you how each of them voted this year, then give you this year’s category, along with a quick rundown of how we ended up with that category (what was a surprise, etc). After that, I rank each of this year’s nominees in terms of how I see them right now in terms of their likelihood to win. Which is nothing more than my perception (notice that underline, even though you won’t) of how the category seems at the moment based on everything I know and have seen. Which will give you a general sense of the favorites.

Today is Best Makeup & Hairstyling. A category we usually don’t really care about, which is especially the case this year.

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 Apes


1985 Mask The Color Purple

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins

1986 The Fly The Clan of the Cave Bear


1987 Harry and the Hendersons Happy New Year
1988 Beetlejuice Coming to America


1989 Driving Miss Daisy The Adventures of Baron Munchausen


1990 Dick Tracy Cyrano de Bergerac

Edward Scissorhands

1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day Hook

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula Batman Begins


1993 Mrs. Doubtfire Philadelphia

Schindler’s List

1994 Ed Wood Forrest Gump

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

1995 Braveheart My Family, Mi Familia


1996 The Nutty Professor Ghosts of Mississippi

Star Trek: First Contact

1997 Men in Black Mrs. Brown


1998 Elizabeth Saving Private Ryan

Shakespeare in Love

1999 Topsy-Turvy Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Bicentennial Man


2000 How the Grinch Stole Christmas The Cell

Shadow of the Vampire

2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring A Beautiful Mind

Moulin 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 World

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

2004 Lemony Snicker’s A Series of Unfortunate Events The Passion of the Christ

The Sea Inside

2005 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Cinderella Man

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

2006 Pan’s Labyrinth Apocalypto


2007 La Vie en Rose Norbit

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

2008 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Dark Knight

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

2009 Star Trek Il Divo

The Young Victoria

2010 The Wolfman Barney’s Version

The Way Back

2011 The Iron Lady Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

2012 Les Misérables Hitchcock

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

2013 Dallas Buyers Club Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

The Lone Ranger

2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel Foxcatcher

Guardians of the Galaxy

2015 Mad Max: Fury Road The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant

2016 Suicide Squad A Man Called Ove

Star Trek Beyond

There is a Makeup & Hairstylists Guild, but most of the time, you can use intuition to figure out what’s going to win.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Darkest Hour

Victoria & Abdul


Pretty straightforward. There were seven shortlisted films. The only other one who seemingly had a shot at a nomination was I, Tonya. in the end, they took Victoria & Abdul. Okay. Either way, it was gonna be the #3.


3. Victoria & Abdul — Did people even see this? No one is taking this, sight unseen. Not when the other two nominees have such showy jobs with the makeup. We can try to reason a way in which this wins, but for now, there’s no way you can’t immediately understand why this is the #3 in terms of likelihood to win. There’s really nothing more to add. It just is.

2. Wonder — The protagonist has a facial deformity. It’s like Mask all over again. (Mask, by the way, won this category.) If it weren’t for the favorite, this would probably be the winner. But I can’t see it coming down with it, even if the movie was a surprise hit. Though if it does manage a win with this being its only nomination, I guess you’d have to call it a one hit… Wonder!

*backs away slowly*

1. Darkest Hour — Gary Oldman is gonna win Best Actor, so people know the makeup job. They transform him into Winston Churchill, and it’s believable. It already has a BFCA win and will win the BAFTA in like ten days. Think back to when Meryl won for playing Margaret Thatcher. The makeup team came along with her. Why? Because she campaigned with them and brought them to events. Gary Oldman’s been doing the same. This is your favorite.

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