Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Makeup & Hairstyling

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Makeup & Hairstyling, which admittedly we could have gone over a few days ago. Because it’s one of the most locked categories of the night. But I figured it would be better to write some of the other ones first and then treat myself with an easy day for the one with only three nominees.

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

2017 Darkest Hour Victoria & Abdul


The precursors don’t really matter here. And even so, you generally know what’s gonna win just by looking at it. Even looking up there at 2016, it was 50/50. You generally know what the deal is. We don’t need to spend too much time on this one.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling


Mary Queen of Scots


I could end this article right now with three words. But I won’t, we’ll go through the motions.

Vice won BFCA already. BAFTA has Vice and Mary Queen of Scots up in their category. Border got on and nobody knows what it is. No screener has, as of yet, been given out, and chances are no one will vote for it because they haven’t seen it.

So yeah, I think we know where this one’s headed.


3. Border — No joke, there hasn’t been a screener sent out of this movie. 90% of the Academy (and I’m being generous) doesn’t even know this movie exists. Hell, the only reason I know it exists (aside from the shortlist) is because… wait, why do I know about this movie? Let’s just go with I’m me and I find all sorts of crazy shit on my travels. Still, foreign nominees don’t win here in an open vote. Look at the previous winners. What’s the last remotely surprising thing you see in the win column? (Not what it beat. Just winners. I go back to 1999 before I even bat an eye. And even that’s like, “I honestly don’t even remember the makeup in that movie.”) Open votes favor “classier” nominees. Simple fact of nature.

2. Mary Queen of Scots — the makeup is good and the hairstyling is great. It’s completely worthy of being here. But it has no chance. Come on, now. We all know what the score is here. Maybe if Suspiria were the third film, then we could have a conversation. But not against Vice. This ain’t happening. Let me see it win BAFTA before I consider anything else. I’m not even counting the guild. That’s meaningless to me. I want to see BAFTA before I even consider possibly thinking about changing my mind. The rankings won’t change, but only then will I consider this as a possible winner.

1. Vice — Just look at last year. Gary Oldman wins an Oscar for playing Winston Churchill. The makeup team came with him. What the hell do you think is gonna happen this year? Even if Bale somehow loses Best Actor in the end (which is less than 50% at the moment), this should be the winner easily. And, let’s not forget — he LOOKS LIKE DICK CHENEY ON THE SCREEN. But also, Meryl Streep, Iron Lady. Took her makeup team with her. I’m no counting the DiCaprio win and Revenant loss here, because that wasn’t a real person he played. Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey wins, makeup team comes with. Though that was a weak category, so that was fait accompli. Les Mis won over Hitchcock. Why? Best Picture nominee and Anne Hathaway won. This is the favorite. It’s going to win. Just take the easy win and move along. We’re four categories in and you basically have three guaranteed winners already, and have to feel pretty fucking good about the fourth. The key with the Oscars is to take the easy ones and focus your energy on the hard ones. This is one of the easy ones. Don’t overthink it.

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2 responses

  1. Mason Evans Sr.

    While Vice is winning makeup either way, your continued insistence that Bale is winning the Oscar after losing SAG when he and Malek split the Globes and when Malek is the favorite at BAFTA (do you really think they’ll pass up the opportunity to award someone for playing Freddie Mercury?) is strange.

    February 1, 2019 at 8:08 pm

  2. “I’m no (sic) counting the DiCaprio win and Revenant loss here, because that wasn’t a real person he played.”

    However fictionalized the story may have been, Leo did play a person who existed, just like some Nazi officials depicted in Inglourious Basterds existed.

    February 1, 2019 at 8:22 pm

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