Oscars 2020: CDG Nominations

Today the Costume Designers Guild announced their nominations, and this is one of the bigger pieces of the Oscar nominations puzzle I’ve been waiting for. Most people probably wouldn’t care, but Costume Design is always one of those categories that feels like it’s always a 3/5 and there’s always something random. This year, perhaps, with the limited field, things might be easier. But it’s definitely one of those categories I’m always on my heels for. Plus, like ADG, they give us three categories, which is just a wealth of stuff to talk about.

Here are your CDG nominees:

Excellence in Period Film


Judas and the Black Messiah

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom


One Night in Miami

Emma, Mank and Ma Rainey were pretty much gimmes here. They all hit BFCA as well. One Night in Miami makes sense. And Judas is a nice inclusion.


Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film


Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey



Wonder Woman 1984

Dolittle. Amazing. I mean, I get it. But also. Amazing. Jingle Jangle getting some love in the guilds. Like that. Mulan makes sense. They also got nominated at BFCA. Pinocchio is an interesting one. I’m curious to see if that manages multiple nominations for a film that almost no one in America even knows exists. And Wonder Woman also makes sense for the guild here.


Excellence in Contemporary Film

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

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

Da 5 Bloods

Promising Young Woman

The Prom

Yeah, that about makes sense. The Prom is all costumes, as is Birds of Prey. Da 5 Bloods also fits. Promising Young Woman hit BFCA, which should be interesting, given how infrequently true contemporary films make the Costumes list in the end. La La Land counted as contemporary, but given all the musical stuff in it, it’s basically the same as The Prom in a lot of ways. Flashy costumes and fantasy-level musical numbers. But Promising Young Woman is straight contemporary. So I really wanna see if that has any shot.

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So, five of the six BFCA nominees ended up on here. The sixth was Personal History of David Copperfield, which feels like a nominations shit show, given the fact that it came out in the UK last year and was nominated by them places last year. But taking that out (since I have no idea if that has any shot at this. Assuming it wasn’t nominated by BAFTA last year, I’m thinking no), that leaves Emma, Ma Rainey, Mank, Mulan and Promising Young Woman as films that hit both precursors so far. That should make BAFTA really important for us, since I can buy the first four as surefire nominees, but I’m not gonna assume Promising Young Woman gets on until I see BAFTA go there too. Otherwise, we might have to figure out what that fifth spot is gonna be blind. And normally you can just point to the big period costume piece, whether it got precursors or not. But this year — what is that? There’s really not that much that feels like it’s in play here, which is why this is so interesting.

Other contenders, just looking at who their usuals are… wow, a lot of people don’t even have films this year. But Mark Bridges, two-time winner, has News of the World, and he feels like a contender, especially if BAFTA nominates him. Ammonite also feels like a contender, but I’d also have to see BAFTA go there, since it seems like the film is getting roundly ignored. United States vs. Billie Holiday is all about costumes. But without precursors, it’s gonna be hard to guess it. Also, perennial nominee Sandy Powell did The Glorias, which feels like it might be an outside dark horse to keep an eye on, even though it feels unlikely.

BAFTA-pending, the other nominees from above (that didn’t hit other precursors or weren’t already mentioned) I’d say merit true consideration are One Night in Miami, Jingle Jangle and Pinocchio. And if you asked me to lay out the category as of right now, I would say:


Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom



Promising Young Woman

Alternate: News of the World

Dark Horse: Pinocchio

Surprise: One Night in MiamiJingle Jangle

Shocker: Ammonite; The GloriasDolittle

I’m not 100% sold on Promising Young Woman until I see it hit BAFTA, just because contemporary is not really their thing. Otherwise, the Costume Design category is usually very strong in terms of precursors. There’s only a small handful of nominees that have gotten on without any precursors since we’ve had all three to look at. So odds are your entire category will come from all three lists, which is why I’m waiting on BAFTA. In five days, we should have all the ammunition we need to properly guess this category.

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