Oscars 2020: Best Makeup & Hairstyling Shortlist

We’re going over Makeup & Hairstyling today. I was originally gonna wait until the guild announces on Thursday and go over this Friday, but honestly, who cares. We’re gonna adjust all of this later anyway. This category has also historically been really easy to diagnose, so I don’t think we need to wait on this.

They did, if you forgot, officially bump this category up to five nominees last year, so this is a five nominees from ten on the shortlist situation. So it should be fairly easy to figure out what the top five are gonna be.

Here’s your Makeup & Hairstyling shortlist:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
The Glorias
Hillbilly Elegy
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
The Little Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night in Miami

BFCA nominated Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Ma Rainey and Mank. On BAFTA’s shortlist is Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Ma Rainey, Mank and Pinocchio. Is there much more that needs to be spelled out there?

I can split this into two categories right now.

The category of films that feel unlikely to get on is: The Glorias, Jingle Jangle, The Little Things and One Night in Miami. Could any of them? Sure. Glorias is mostly about hair and wasn’t hugely liked or remembered, so I don’t think they’ll flock to that. Jingle Jangle is a far outside shot, but I don’t think that really has enough. Little Things feels like most of the makeup is on the dead people, and then I guess the hair is greasing up Jared Leto. Can’t see them really going for that. One Night in Miami — not really sure what makeup stood out to me there, unless you’re gonna say they did a little bit to make the actors look more like their counterparts. Don’t see it, and if it sneaks on it’ll be because they liked the movie and not much else (unless I wildly missed something they did. Which has been known to happen).

So to me, just on pure logic, that leaves six choices for five spots: Birds of Prey, Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Ma Rainey, Mank, Pinocchio.

Now… Suicide Squad won this category, so why in the hell would you discount Birds of Prey as an option? Emma is all about the period hair and that seems like an easy inclusion. Hillbilly Elegy has the Glenn Close look going for it and feels like a solid contender. Ma Rainey — lotta makeup on Viola. Mank, old school period hair and stuff. And Pinocchio I still haven’t seen but apparently everything in that movie is practical makeup effects and not CGI. So on that alone, that feels like an automatic inclusion. I suspect BAFTA might include it on their list (though their list is only 3, so maybe not) and I know it’ll be the film most people discount because it’s foreign and they haven’t seen it. But remember, this is the group that nominated A Man Called Ove and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and Border recently. That feels like a classic rookie mistake to leave that off your guesses.

Honestly, if you had to ask me where the swap spot is — it’s Hillbilly Elegy vs. Mank. Mank feels like your classic, “Well that’s for sure gonna get on,” and then in the end they leave it off. But we’ll see where BAFTA goes. And the guild. Right now, if you’re asking me to guess how I feel the category is gonna play out, I’d say:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)


Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


Alternate: Mank

Dark Horse: One Night in Miami

Surprise: Jingle Jangle, The Little Things

Shocker: The Glorias

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That was a quick one. Makeup often is. But don’t worry, I got some fun stuff coming down the line with another shortlist probably next week.

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2 responses

  1. I’ve seen Pinocchio and if it doesn’t get nominated, the Makeup branch doesn’t know what the hell it’s doing.

    February 15, 2021 at 2:18 pm

  2. Scott G Wheeler

    As for One Night in Miami 2 of the 4 leads are wearing prosthetics. I guess if you don’t see it I should take it as a compliment? Scott Wheeler, makeup deptartment head for One Night in Miami

    February 15, 2021 at 8:03 pm

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