Academy Awards Project: Best Makeup and Hairstyling


It’s only natural that we progress to the Makeup and Hairstyling category after we looked at the production and costume nominees; the trifecta will be complete. This will also be a breeze to get through on your Friday afternoon, seeing as this category consistently has the lowest amount of nominees every single year (three tops). I’m not quite sure why they haven’t extended the count to five, outside of there maybe being a lot of lousy candidates some years just to fill up the roster. This year’s three picks are strong in their own rights, and yet it is very peculiar that a certain film wasn’t found here at all (of course, this will be our biggest snub pick for today). Here are the nominees for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, ranked from worst to best.


Biggest Snub: Black Panther
Where the hell is Black Panther? It is found in pretty much every single other technical or production category, and yet it is nowhere to be found here. You know those bumps on Killmonger? All of the aesthetic make up choices by the citizens of Wakanda? Even all of the special effects make up? I honestly do not get how none of that matters. This might have been the result of the category just having too few spots. You see what happens when you only have three nominees? Then again, three nominees still allows Jackass or Suicide Squad to somehow get in there, so there is that, too.


3. Vice-Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney
Yeah, I’ve ranked the favourite to win last. In any regular year, Vice would be the top dog no question. In fact, it will likely win this year regardless of what I say. However, 2019 has some mean competition, and I won’t blindly let that slide. Are the final touches to age Dick and company appropriately effective? Absolutely. You get the full spectrum of the Cheneys and their political associates throughout the years (not to mention the cherries on top when it comes to showing the Dick Cheney as we know him, despite most of that work being done by Christian Bale himself). Don’t get me wrong: the work here is phenomenal. I just prefer the work found in the other two films.


2. Mary Queen of Scots-Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
If there is one thing that Mary Queen of Scots did correctly in virtually every single scene (so this excludes Margot Robbie, who only appears in a small portion of the film), it’s the makeup and hairstyling. Queen Elizabeth alone is the zenith for what these stylists were capable of. Her facial reconstruction looked real. The caked-on makeup on top only furthered the illusion (and seemed period appropriate, too). The hair was either a spectacle, or frighteningly honest (tattered, and ripped apart). That’s for one character. Apply this mastery to all of the other characters, and you have a dazzling array of artistry here.


1. Border-Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
Well, I found the most twisted film to be nominated for an Academy Award this year. Border is not for the faint of heart, primarily because it willingly leaps into the darkest pits of humanity at any given second. This fantasy noir dabbles with the notion of identity, and how discovering one’s roots can be more of a curse than a blessing. Here, we have a mostly realistic world outside of the idea that trolls exist. To allow Border to sink into the fever dream that it ultimately is, one portal is through how the trolls look. They are familiar enough to relate to, but different enough to be jarring the entire time. What seems like a weird gimmick gradually turns into a hallucination. Teeth are bared. Blood is shed. Intimacy commences. These aren’t just actors with masks on. These are fully fledged beings that breath, live, cry, laugh, sing, and bleed. Border goes the extra mile enough to be impossible to ignore. Maybe that’s why such an out-there film made it here; because it just had to. It’s why it is the nominee with the bet makeup and hairstyling of the year.

Our Predicted Winner: Currently, it would be insane to assume any film other than Vice would win. That’s about it.

Our Academy Awards Project is an ongoing series that will continue until all the categories have been ranked and reviewed. Tune in Monday to Saturday for a new category each day.

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Andreas Babiolakis has a Masters degree in Film and Photography Preservation and Collections management from Ryerson University, as well as a Bachelors degree in Cinema Studies from York University. His favourite times of year are the Criterion Collection flash sales and the annual Toronto International Film Festival.