When I wrote about the makeup category last week I used The Curious Case of Benjamin Button winning over Hellboy II: The Golden Army as an example of the lack in logic used by the Academy when deciding on a winner that year. My primary reason was the amount of digital effects used to age and de-age Brad Pitt in the lead role on top of the ghastly makeup used on Cate Blanchett to make her look older in the film, makeup that looks eerily similar to the plastic job done on Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar.
In the comments some people took me to task, mentioning Greg Cannom’s work in the film, which I will admit, in the middle half of Benjamin Button, Cannom’s work is quite good, and I was actually never discounting it. However, approximately the first 50 minutes of that film features a completely computer generated Benjamin and in the latter half computers are again used to de-age Brad Pitt, and when compared to the work done in Hellboy II, I don’t think the two are comparable and it’s my opinion Benjamin Button won not for the effects in the middle of the film, but more for the digital effects done on the bookends. It’s a personal opinion, but that’s where I stand.
This year, J. Edgar appears to be the current front-runner despite the fact I don’t see anyone standing up to praise Sian Grigg’s work as much as I’ve heard something along the lines of “Armie Hammer looked terrible and Leonardo DiCaprio looked pretty good.” That appears to be the majority opinion, but are we giving the Oscar to the Best “Pretty Good” Makeup or the Best Makeup?
As far as my other contenders go, I have Green Lantern in second behind J. Edgar and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in third, which would be the first time any film from Harry Potter franchise would be nominated in this category. Perhaps the eighth time’s the charm?
Elsewhere you have other historical-based features in contention such as My Week with Marilyn, The Iron Lady and A Dangerous Method. Franchise films such as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and X-Men: First Class and other potential prestige pics such as Albert Nobbs, War Horse, Hugo, The Artist and, yes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
The one big question mark I have that was also brought up in my last article, is Fox’s Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, a film I’m sure everyone has pretty much forgotten about as hardly anyone even went to see it. However, in the past, films such as Norbit have been nominated and The Nutty Professor even won, and as far as I can tell, the makeup in Big Mommas is no better or worse than in J. Edgar so why can’t it get in?
As for films I feel are more deserving than J. Edgar, I think the Harry Potter franchise definitely deserves a nom and I thought the makeup on Peter Sarsgaard and Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur in Green Lantern are certainly deserving. The work in The Iron Lady and My Week with Marilyn are both well done. Granted, I’ve only seen My Week with Marilyn, but I will say in that film we see both Marilyn with and without makeup and even though she’s beautiful in both instances, the subtle differences hammer home just that point to a solid effect.
I haven’t seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, War Horse or Hugo so I have no solid opinion there other than what we’ve seen in pictures, but the work in J. Edgar isn’t better than any of the films on my list that I’ve seen. My #1 reason being that the makeup in J. Edgar is so jarring, you can’t help but think about it, which takes you out of the movie and has you looking at the actor underneath the pounds of makeup rather than the character he is supposed to be. That is not my definition of Best Makeup.
So once again, and despite my personal opinion, here are my current predictions for Best Makeup nominees, and you can check out my full field of 15 contenders with comments right here.
Finally, I saw My Week with Marilyn last night and will be updating my Best Actress predictions soon. Right now Michelle Williams sits just outside the top five… will she nudge her way back in? Meryl Streep is gaining steam across the pond, will she overtake #1 from Viola Davis (The Help). Those predictions are coming tomorrow.