Sunday, July 13, 2014

OVP: Makeup (2013)

OVP: Best Makeup and Hairstyling (2013)

The Nominees Were...

Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club
Stephen Prouty, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger

My Thoughts: I don't know why I always start with Best Makeup when I'm doing these writeups.  Maybe it's because it's always a good idea to begin with your vegetables before you go into your pasta and dessert.  After all, the films that were nominated here got an average rating of 1.7 on this blog.  It's not what one would consider a particularly robust lineup, but it's still Oscar, and so we need to muddle through it.  Next up will be Visual Effects, which should be far more rewarding.

I'm going to start out with the film that people actually seemed to like, which is Dallas Buyers Club.  You look at this lineup and know that in future years people would automatically, without thinking, mark the sole Best Picture nominee as the winner.  The reality is, though, that there's nothing particularly compelling about the makeup work in the film.  The biggest "effect" is the weight loss endured by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, but both of these men actually lost this weight throughout production.  Surely there were certain aspects of the makeup that were accentuating this weight loss, and the makeup surrounding the Kaposi's Sarcoma that was ripping through Leto's body were obviously makeup, but when you're looking for ways makeup was used and not actually just discussing the ways that the makeup was excellent, there was a problem in the film's citation, and I feel like this is one of those random nominations that happened, and then the film won because no one wanted to give the other two movies an Oscar.

One of those films was the "I cannot believe it was nominated by AMPAS" Bad Grandpa.  Seriously-when my friends forced me to watch Jackass in college, I didn't anticipate that I would end up having to watch one of the movies years later because it was nominated for an Oscar, but here I am.  The film is just awful, but as I said when I reviewed it, the makeup isn't quite as bad.  The real question here is how much Knoxville had to stage some of his pranks, because that genuinely is a factor in deciding its worthiness for a win.  I want to believe that most of these pranks are real people, in which case the makeup was not only well-done, it was believable enough that random strangers actually bought into it.  That's impressive, though it's still hardly revolutionary on a base level (it's very much in the Rick Baker school of makeup, and we've been there countless times before with or without Rick Baker).

The final nominee was The Lone Ranger, one of the nice surprises of 2013.  Though most critics hated the film, I actually quite enjoyed its throwback to both westerns and adventure films of the past, and do feel it's worth a look (if you click the links above to the reviews, and I recommend you do, you'll see that I gave it a better ranking than Dallas Buyers Club).  The Makeup was strong almost universally, with the big exception being the comic and goofy old-age makeup that Depp wears in the Little Big Man homage.  Otherwise the series of hairstyling (Helena Bonham Carter looks comically wonderfully) and grotesque teeth/hair/eyes are realistic, effective, and somewhat understated for a film that was marketed as if it was Tim Burton's Once Upon a Time in the West.  For a film that no one seemed to like, the technical elements of the movie were universally superb.

Other Precursor Contenders: BAFTA does a five-wide field, but that didn't stop it from being a completely different set of nominations.  American Hustle won, with Behind the Candelabra (different eligibility, though don't you think Soderbergh should have tried Oscar instead of Emmy), The Butler, The Great Gatsby, and The Hobbit were the runners-up (this may seem obvious, but this is clearly a considerably better lineup than AMPAS pulled together).  The Saturn Awards don't include all films (Dallas Buyers Club wouldn't have been eligible), but include a large enough field of genres traditionally nominated here to include it as a precursor.  They also had an entirely different set of nominees than AMPAS, with Prisoners winning over Evil Dead, The Hobbit, Lone Survivor, Rush, and Thor: The Dark World.  And in the rare circumstances where I know who was in the bake-off (sometimes AMPAS releases the shortlist of who the finalists were for a nomination), I put them here, and so in addition to the three nominees, the other movies in contention for the Oscar were American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, Hansel and Gretal Witch Hunters, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. My guess for fourth place would have to be American Hustle.
Films I Would Have Nominated: The reason for that is that American Hustle checks every box you'd think the Best Makeup category would want.  Critically-acclaimed, Academy-blessed (ten nominations!), and truly wonderful work, it should have been an easy nomination, and quite frankly an easy way to honor a major film that didn't go home with a single award.  I would have probably scrapped all three nominees if I were in charge, putting in the continually strong makeup work in The Hobbit and the great period choices on display in The Butler as my two nominees (though both losing to American Hustle, and I wasn't what you would call a fan of that particular movie).
Oscar’s Choice: When the ballot went to the entire Academy, they had little choice but to go with Dallas Buyers Club, likely over The Lone Ranger.
My Choice: This is not a category for Best Picture or best-reviewed film, and that's the thing to keep in mind here, which makes this an easy vote for The Lone Ranger.  I'd follow that quite frankly with Bad Grandpa, with Dallas Buyers Club finishing up in last.

And those are my thoughts-what are yours?  Do you agree that Dallas Buyers Club won by default?  Are you in my camp with The Lone Ranger or did you pick someone else?  Why did AMPAS skip American Hustle when that was like the free space in Bingo?  And of course, which film overall in 2013 had the best Makeup?  Share in the comments!

Also in 2013: Previously in 2013

Past Best Makeup Contests: 2009, 201020112012

No comments: